The Press Club of India (PCI) has demanded that the Central Government should come out clean on the decision to prevent the Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist Sanna Irshad Mattoo from travelling to the United States to receive the award.
“On the one hand, the government is making all out efforts to integrate Kashmir with the national mainstream, on the other such actions will only act as deterrents and further aid in alienating people from Kashmir,” it said.
The PCI said, “We note with concern that this is the second time in four months that she has been stopped from travelling abroad. If allowed to attend the prize-giving ceremony, she would have only added to the prestige of the country. Moreover, she has been granted a valid visa by the U.S. Government for her travel. The PCI demands that the government should come out clean on this matter.”
Earlier, the U.S. State Department had said it was tracking the story of the Pulitzer prize winner who was stopped from boarding a Delhi-New York flight on October 17 to collect her award. Ms. Mattoo won the award for her coverage of COVID-19 in India in 2020. She had taken to Twitter to announce that she was stopped at Delhi airport. “Being able to attend the award ceremony was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me,” she had said.
In July, Ms. Mattoo was not allowed to travel to Paris for a photography exhibition as a winner of the Serendipity Arles Grant-2020.