Press Club of India slams action against 3 J&K scribes

Press Club of India slams action against 3 journalists in Jammu and Kashmir

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The Press Club of India on Friday deplored the action against three journalists by law enforcement authorities in Jammu and Kashmir, saying it appeared designed to intimidate the media.

In a statement, the press club said events of the past week underline the fact that the new norm in Kashmir is for the police to call journalists to police stations in connection with their published reports, photographs, or their social media posts, and to file FIRs against journalists.

A case under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act has been filed against a young photo-journalist, while the correspondent of a prominent national daily has had a case registered against him for reporting that the police buried bodies of two men killed in an encounter when the family of at least one of them was ready to identify the alleged terrorist, it said.

Another journalist is being sought to be prosecuted for his social media output where he questioned current methods against the media, the statement said, without naming the three journalists -- Masarat Zahra, The Hindu reporter Peerzada Ashiq and freelance journalist Gowhar Geelani.

"In light of this background, the events of the past week appear designed to intimidate the media. Perhaps the effort is to convert the entire media into official media through arm-twisting, or to render them into a silent media," the press club alleged.

"We deplore this trend. We demand that the criminal cases registered against journalists be withdrawn right away," the statement signed by press club president Anand Sahay said.