Other States

Journalists join hands to fight for Kashmir Press Club

Ten journalists’ bodies joined hands in Kashmir on Thursday to fight for the restoration of the Kashmir Press Club (KPC), which was de-registered and the property sealed by the J&K government recently.

Meanwhile, the Press Club of India (PCI) has urged the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) “to ensure that the club [KPC] be allowed elections in the interest of transparency and democratic functioning”.

In a joint statement issued by ten organisations registered with the KPC, Kashmir-based journalists demanded the restoration of the KPC’s status quo as on January 13, 2022. “The journalists resolved to seek an explanation from the registering authority on the grounds on which the KPC’s re-registration was placed ‘in abeyance’ and the club shut down in an arbitrary manner,” a spokesperson said.

The journalist bodies resolved to explore all avenues for the restoration of the KPC at the earliest. “It also gave a week’s time to the last elected 11-member body to brief the journalist bodies on the developments with regard to restoration of the KPC. It also condemned the attempted forcible takeover by a tiny group of journalists and subsequent shutting down of the KPC by the J&K administration,” the spokesperson said.

Naming the umbrella body as the Kashmir Media Coalition, the journalists expressed gratitude to the various prominent journalist bodies — including the Editors Guild of India, the Press Council of India, the Indian Union of Journalists, the Foreign Correspondents Club, the Chennai Press Club, the Kolkata Press Club, the Press Club of India, the Mumbai Press Club and the Delhi Union of Journalists; and international media watchdogs Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) — for their support and solidarity.

‘Extremely unfortunate’

The Press Club of India (PCI), in a letter to J&K L-G Manoj Sinha on Thursday termed the armed takeover of the KPC on January 14, 2022 as “extremely unfortunate”.

The PCI demanded early elections at the press club.

“What is most troublesome is that a factional war within journalist groups was presented as the front behind which the administration executed its coercive action. This was done weeks after KPC’s registration was renewed and just when the club authorities had announced fresh elections to its executive body,” the PCI said.

The PCI sought the Lieutenant-Governor’s urgent intervention “to restore the land and registration of the Club”.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 2:12:01 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/journalists-join-hands-to-fight-for-kashmir-press-club/article38300014.ece