KPC condemns FIR against Gowhar Geelani; seeks withdrawal of charges

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Srinagar: Noting the series of FIRs against journalists in Kashmir, the Kashmir Press Club issued a statement saying it stands in solidarity with the media fraternity and again sought the withdrawal of charges.

This week, the police booked two Kashmiri journalists — Masrat Zahra and Gowhar Geelani — for their posts on social media platforms, which the police claimed were a threat to national security and sovereignty. The police also registered an FIR against The Hindu’s story reported by Peerzada Ashiq for alleged “factual inaccuracy” and questioned the journalist.

The KPC added that many scribes in the valley have expressed anguish over these developments. “While condemning and again seeking withdrawal of the FIR’s against Peerzada Ashiq, Masrat Zahra, we urge the authorities must withdraw the case against Gowhar Geelani as well,” it added.

“As already conveyed, the club on behalf of the fraternity will write a representation to the Press Club of India (PCI) detailing these issues and other grievances related to difficulties faced by media in their functioning during this pandemic,” the statement mentioned. “In this regard a memorandum will also be written to the highest authorities including the LG of the UT of J&K.”

“We hope the media fraternity which is working amid huge challenges should get a conducive atmosphere to deliver their day to day duties.”

Various rights groups and media watchers have also condemned the actions of J-K police and sought immediate withdrawal of charges against the jounralists.

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