The Editors Guild of India (EGI) has expressed shock over the police action against The Kashmir Walla editor-in-chief, Fahad Shah, and demanded the Jammu and Kashmir administration to “create circumstances where [the] press can report on news and express opinion without any fear or favor”.
The statement came after the police summoned Shah again on 5 March after the newspaper ran a news report of thrashing two journalists covering protests in Srinagar.
Noting that this was the third time that Shah was detained for his writings, the Guild said, “His is not the only case. There are scores of journalists who are experiencing this new normal where they can be hauled up by the security forces for writing anything that goes contrary to the government narrative that peace has returned to the valley.”
The guild expressed shock over “the casual manner in which the editors of Kashmir-based publications are routinely detained by security forces for reporting for their editorials”.
The guild, which is currently headed by journalist Seema Mustafa, further demanded that the state administration create circumstances “where [the] press can report on news and express opinion without any fear or favor”.
Shah was let go by the police on 5 March after three-hour-long questioning. He had later tweeted: “The officials had objections about [a] story by [The Kashmir Walla] published today about protests/journalist thrashing in Srinagar. I explained the story was based on facts with all details. I’m back now, thank you so much for your support.”