The Press Council of India (PCI) has sought response from the Jammu and Kashmir government after Kashmir Press Club (KPC) filed a complaint on the summoning of journalists by Jammu and Kashmir police.
Taking cognizance of the KPC’s complaint, the PCI has written to Chief Secretary of the government of Jammu and Kashmir and to Director General of Police, Dilbagh Singh, sought comments on the matter. The notice calls for comments, “which may be filed within two weeks from the date of receipt of this letter to enable the council to determine further course of action in the matter.”
The complaint that was written by the KPC on 21 May, when Kashmir Walla founding editor, Fahad Shah was summoned by the police’s Cyber Cell for his reporting on a gunfight in Srinagar, also highlighted other similar summonses to Kashmiri journalists.
In April, two Kashmiri journalists, Masrat Zahra and Gowhar Geelani, were booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for their social media posts.
The KPC has time and again condemned such incidents and noted that such summons and FIRs are aimed at harassing and intimidating the journalists and thus are a clear violation of the press freedom.
“KPC urges the highest authorities in the administration and police to take a look into these issues so that the journalists reporting from the Valley are provided a conducive atmosphere to work,” the Club had said in a statement dated 21 May.