The J&K administration on Friday put in abeyance the registration of the Kashmir Press Club (KPC) as a society, just hours after the Valley's top journalists’ body announced its elections.
According to the Registrar of Society, J&K, the office of the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), CID, has put on hold the non-involvement and verification of character and antecedent certificate of members of the managing body of the KPC, also known as Aiwan-e-Sahafat.
"The re-registration granted (to the KPC) on December 29, 2021 is hereby kept in abeyance till the receipt of final report from Additional District Magistrate, Srinagar," the official order reads.
The move comes hours after the KPC announced it will hold elections to form a new body on February 15. Last year, the KPC could not hold elections because of pending re-registration of the KPC under new laws of the Union Territory (UT). A body with over 300 scribes as members, it held its first elections in the erstwhile state of J&K in 2019.
Meanwhile, the KPC, in a statement, said, "The new unfortunate development has advertently stalled the election process for the new body that was set in motion. The management committee wants to put this on record that during its tenure it has run the KPC with professionalism and integrity. It hopes that the institution, which has been established after a lot of efforts by the fraternity, continues to be allowed to function in the best interests of its members."
The KPC has been at the forefront of raising issues of the Kashmir-based scribes, including internet blackouts, harassment of journalists and welfare-related issues. Earlier this week, it had sought dropping of all charges against an arrested journalist Sajad Gul.
The J&K administration has been averse to allow civil society bodies' polls in Kashmir after August 5, 2019. It has already denied permission to the Kashmir Bar Council and the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries on different pretexts.