The Press Guild of Kashmir has strongly denounced the curbs imposed on media by the state authorities and use of force against media persons.
In an extra-ordinary meeting of the Guild, which was presided over by the President, Bashir Ahmad Bashir, it was felt that in the wake of present turbulence the government should have ensured free flow of information to keep the public updated and to discourage rumour mongering.
“However, the reverse has happened,” the Guild members maintained, regretting that the authorities have done everything to stop media persons from discharging their professional duties.
The Guild condemned attack on media persons on Tuesday and also on Wednesday. Several media persons were injured in Tuesday attack while as Wednesday police thrashed some media persons at Press Enclave, Pratap Park and snatched cameras from a few.
The meeting observed that the attacks were being carried out to muzzle the voice of media.
The Guild also regretted that the curfew passes issued to media persons not being honoured by the armed forces.
“Not allowing media persons to move and cover the situation tantamount to banning the media and that is what the state government has done indirectly,” the meeting observed.
The meeting counseled the state authorities to remove curbs on media and allow it function freely so that peoples’ right to information is restored.
The Guild also appealed to the media bodies within and outside India to voice their concern over curbs being imposed on media in Kashmir.
The Guild also expressed deep anguish over the civilian killings and use of excessive force on public cautioning the government that such arm-twisting tactics have every potential to boomerang and thus endangering more human lives.
It may be recalled that authorities cancelled the curfew passes issued to media and restricted the movement of mediapersons. Newspapers owners have expressed their inability to continue the publications in view of severe restrictions. Police also seized cameras of some news channels while they were performing their duties.