Srinagar: In a scathing response to the charges against a female photojournalist in Kashmir, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said, “Anyone not toeing the statist line is reportedly harassed, intimated, and a vilification campaign unleashed.”
Masrat Zahra, a professional photojournalist, was booked under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and IPC-505 for posting “anti-national” content on Facebook, the police claimed.
“Slapping UAPA an anti-terrorism law against Masrat Zahra a female journalist for merely representing a contrarian view is a manifestation of the urge to control the tone & tempo of the conversation in & on Kashmir,” said the PDP. “Journalists in Kashmir work in hostile conditions to keep the public informed sometimes even at the cost of their lives.”
The party also added that several other journalists, including the correspondents of The Hindu and Outlook India, were “harassed for merely discharging their professional duties. Authorities should desist and immediately cease such harassment of members of journalism fraternity.”
Calling media the fourth pillar of democracy, The PDP tweeted: “In any democracy, Media is the 4th pillar of strength. What democracy is India shaping when it jails and blames a young, professional, woman photojournalist for capturing the most militarized zone in the world? #Journalismisnotacrime #IStandWithMasratZehra.”
Several other journalists and activists also came in support of Zahra on Twitter, using hashtag: “#IStandWithMasratZehra”.
“What democracy is India shaping when it jails and blames a young, professional, woman photojournalist for capturing the most militarized zone in the world?” the party questioned.