Intimidating, harassing journalists to stifle reportage has become the norm: Iltija Mufti

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Srinagar: Iltija Mufti, daughter of former Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, has called out the government for booking a female photojournalist in Kashmir under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

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

“Intimidating and harassing journalists in J-K to stifle reportage has become the norm,” said Ms. Mufti in a tweet from her mother’s account. “The ones [journalists] that have any credibility left are hounded and punished. It’s worse for journalists from J-K who report at the cost of their lives.”

She also highlighted that earlier the police were arresting people for using Virtual Private Network applications when Kashmir was under internet restrictions.

“Any dissent/counter opinion has been outlawed and criminalised,” said Ms. Mufti. “Filing FIRs and invoking stringent laws meant for criminals is a blot on democracy.”

She further highlighted that Ms. Zahra isn’t the only case: “TOI reporter Samiya Latief was bullied and trolled on twitter,” she said. “A correspondent working for The Hindu was interrogated for hours on an article that didn’t fit into the narrative of the establishment.”

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