“Constitutional guarantees can’t be undone,” says JKPC; demands to drop UAPA against journalist

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Srinagar: Reacting to the charges against a female photojournalist, Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference has called free press a “lifeblood of democracy, must not be silenced.”

Imran Reza Ansari, a senior JKPC leader, demanded the police shall drop the charges against Zahra. “Case under UA(P)A against a female journalist Masrat Zehra seems to be an over reaction from government and as such should be dropped,” he said. “Constitutional guarantees can’t be undone.”

Masrat Zahra, a professional photojournalist, was booked under the UAPA and IPC-505 for posting “anti-national” content on Facebook on 18 April, the police claimed.

In a tweet, the JKPC said: “Is this the new state of affairs? Things weren’t too good in the old state of affairs either but attempts to silence the media were not as brazenly & shamelessly implemented. Free press is lifeblood of democracy, must not be silenced. We express our solidarity with @Masratzahra.”

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