Govt forces not involved in Press Club incident: SSP Srinagar

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Srinagar: Police has claimed that no government forces personnel was involved in the Kashmir press club incident which took place on January 15 this year.

Police clarified that only police or government forces present in the club were two personal security officers of Saleem Pandit, one of the journalists present on the scene, who works for The Times of India, Srinagar.

Police issued the clarification after Press Club general secretary Ishfaq Tantray on January 22 wrote an article on Scroll.in about how Kashmir Press Club saw a government-backed takeover.

The article authored by Tantry stated that the authorities struck against the club by backing an illegal “military style” takeover by a group of journalists who barged into the club offices on January 15.

Tantray in his article mentioned that a group of 11 people including “disgruntled journalists were gathered by a large posse of policemen, led by senior officers, giving them protection by cordoning off the club”.

However, Rakesh Balwal, Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar said that no security person including any senior officer was present at the scene of occurrence except the two personal security officers.

“Since Kashmir Press Club is located in a security zone, as a matter of routine practice, normal deployment outside on the main road is made every day for security, law and order purposes and enforcement of Covid-19 restrictions. Moreover, in view of Republic Day on January 26, enhanced security measures are made every year to combat any security and law and order issues,” he added.

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