Editor's Guild issues statement on barring of Kashmiri journalists from R-Day event; calls it 'State-sponsored attack on press freedom'

The Editors Guild of India (EGI) on Monday issued a statement saying that the barring of Kashmiri journalists from Republic Day function in Srinagar was an "unprecedented state-sponsored attack on press freedom" and demanded an inquiry into "such lapses" that are "allowed to take place".

The EGI, in the statement criticised the "arbitrary manner" in which several senior journalists of Jammu and Kashmir were restricted to cover the Republic Day function on January 26, despite their possessing entry passes "issued by state government's Information Department".

On Saturday, Jammu and Kashmir Police denied six senior photo and video journalists working for top national and international media organisations in Srinagar entry to cover the Republic Day function at Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium, The Indian Express reported.

Editors Guild issues statement on barring of Kashmiri journalists from R-Day event; calls it State-sponsored attack on press freedom

Journalists at the protest rally in Srinagar. News18

According to the news portal, a letter by Security Wing of the state police signed by the Additional Superintendent of Police, Security, Kashmir, mentioned a CID report to bar all the six journalists to cover the event at the venue.

"The CID report in respect of below mentioned persons belonging to Media group have been found adverse and you are directed not to permit them inside the venue as their media cards for Republic Day 2019 treated as cancel," the letter read.

The journalist community, following this, boycotted the ceremony on Saturday in protest against the police action.

They also took out a rally from the Kashmir Press Club and marched towards the historic clock tower in Srinagar. The Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) demanded action against the police officials, News18 reported.

"KEG demands that the state government take stringent action against the police officers who sought to muzzle the press and take steps to create a situation where media can function freely and discharge its duty to the citizens by providing information on the happenings in the state,"  the KEG said in a statement.

According to News18, the name of journalists who were barred include  veteran journalists Yusuf Jameel, Mehraj ud Din of The Associated Press, Habib Naqash of GreaterKashmir, Tauseef Mustafa of AFP, Bilal Bhat of ANI and Ashraf Wani of Aaj Tak.

Journalists Danish Ismail of Reuters and Amaan Farooq of GreaterKashmir were also barred.

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Jan 28, 2019 16:17:14 IST

Also See