Srinagar: The Kashmir Press Club on Monday convened an urgent meeting to discuss physical attacks, threats, intimidation being meted out to the journalists in Kashmir by J-K Police.
In a statement issued here, the spokesperson said the meeting in which representatives of all journalists associations took part noted with concern that from first day since Article 370 was removed on 5 August, the government is not enabling journalists and media to operate freely from the Valley.
“This is evident from the prolonged six-month internet shutdown in the region since 5 August. As if that was not enough, physical attacks, threats and summons to journalists are being employed by security agencies to intimidate journalists.” The statement read.
The spokesperson further said. “In fact, the summons and harassment to journalists to counter-insurgency centre (Cargo) in Srinagar has become a routine exercise.”
Adding that the the harassment and questioning of journalists in Kashmir on flimsy grounds by the J-K Police for their work is in fact a damning verdict on the appalling condition in which media is operating.
“The restrictions on internet and forcibly seeking undertakings from news organizations to gain constant surveillance by police and physical attacks and summons all are the tools designed and aimed to ensure only government-promoted version is heard outside. However, the meeting today made it clear that journalists are within their rights to report about the happenings from Kashmir impartially and truthfully.” said the spokesperson in the statement.
Further adding that the journalists have been harassed and are being subjected to harassment is evident by the fact that since 5 August, several journalists reporting from Kashmir were summoned and questioned by police for their work.
“Kashmir Press Club joined by all journalist bodies in Kashmir asked the government to stop practice of summons and attacks on journalists. Being the Fourth Estate, they said, the government should ensure freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed in the constitution instead of muzzling the press. Viewing media as part of problem in Kashmir and blaming journalists for everything wrong is quite misplaced.”