‘Not allowed to travel abroad’: J-K govt puts 22 journalists on lookout circular

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The authorities in Kashmir have prepared a look out circular list on the basis of which journalists, human right activists and academicians are being barred from travelling outside India, The Wire has reported.

Quoting sources, the online news portal reported that there are more than 43 people on the look out circular list who are not allowed to travel abroad following their “adverse report” from the different agencies.

Sources said that, out of 43 people on the list, around 22 are from the journalistic fraternity.

“Most of these journalists are working for international organisations. And there is a fear that allowing them to travel abroad can dent the image of the Union government in international media,” sources said.

The report also added that the Jammu and Kashmir police has created various sections that are currently monitoring and profiling Kashmir-based journalists.

Quoting sources The Wire reported that that one section, called “Dial 100”, works on the “background updation” of journalists, which includes verifying their entire professional career in the media, including their body of work, family relations, foreign travels and so on.

This section is mostly looked after by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), to whose branches in their respective police stations journalists are called for verification.

Adding that the other wing of the investigation is called the “Ecosystem of Narrative Terrorism” in which, apart from journalists, the profiling of human rights activists, civil society, lawyers, academics and other associated people, is being carried out.

Sources said that, in this investigation, officials largely focus on the body of work of the people related to their respective field.

“Here the officials minutely check the body of work of the particular individual. Like in [case of] lawyers, the investigative officer checks the kind of cases they take up. Similarly, in journalists’ [cases], an officer checks the stories they are doing,” the source said. “After the investigation is complete, the cases are then being sent to the higher authority to take a call on them.”

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