Editors Guild of India noted with shock and concern the high-handed manner in which law enforcement agencies in J&K used prevailing laws to deal with 2 journalists

The Editors Guild of India has noted with shock and concern the high-handed manner in which the law enforcement agencies in Jammu & Kashmir have used the prevailing laws to deal with two Srinagar-based journalists, Masrat Zahra, a young freelance photographer, and Peerzada Ashiq, a reporter working for The Hindu.

While only an FIR has been filed in connection with a report filed by Peerzada Ashiq, the authorities in the union territory have used the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act against Masrat Zahra.

Any recourse to such laws for merely publishing something in the mainstream or social media is a gross misuse of power. Its only purpose can be to strike terror into journalists. The Guild also believes that this is an indirect way of intimidating journalists in the rest of the country as well.

The journalists should be put to no harm or further harassment. If the government has any grievance against their reporting, there are other ways of dealing with such issues in the normal course. Mere social media posts of factual pictures can’t attract the toughest anti-terror laws passed for hardened terrorists. And in the case of The Hindu reporter, the correct course was to escalate the complaint to the newspaper’s editor.

The Guild demands that the Union Territory administration of Jammu & Kashmir withdraw the charges forthwith.

Editors Guild of India

[Statement dt. 21-04-2020]

One comment

  • LAW HAS TO BE VERY STRICT. PRESS or MEDIA are not god fathers. Most of the Press and Media are owned by foreign nationals / countries.

    Let the ownership be with Indian Nationals and Patriotic persons. Now a days only negative reporting is more and they just want to boost their TRP ratings. Let the same photographer or any media persons go to any gulf country or singapore or any other country and show their tail. their heads will be chopped off. soldiers are risking their life in safeguarding our country and in a very easy and smart manner these so called press and media cannot take the name of socialism, liberty, freedom of speach, bala bala bala and abuse our country and risk our country in front of the world by its bad opinion. I welcome the administrations move.

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