The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed concern over police arbitrarily summoning journalists as a form of intimidation after The Kashmir Walla editor Fahad Shah was summoned by cyber police over the Srinagar gunfight coverage
In a statement the journalist body said, “Police summoned Shah to the station without reason on May 20. Only two hours after arriving did police inform Shah they were inquiring about his news coverage,”
Shah said police rejected his coverage of the shooting and accused him of “maligning the police reputation”. After four hours Shah was allowed to leave the police station.
“The Kashmir Walla’s article covered the destruction of fifteen homes during the gunfight between militants and government forces, quoting locals who reported stolen valuables and the death of two militants killed in the gunfight,” noted the communique IFJ.
Meanwhile Committee to Protect journalists termed the police summoning of Shah over his reporting as a violation of press freedom and an ongoing campaign to harass and intimidate journalists in #Kashmir. “Police should allow journalists to do their jobs without interfering,” said CPJ
In April, Jammu and Kashmir Cyber Police summoned three journalists in similar circumstances in relation to their work.
The IFJ had said : “Kashmiri police must respect the rights of journalists to report and protect the free flow of information. The IFJ urge police to review police practices that have resulted in the intimidation of journalists.”