HYDERABAD The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) has taken strong exception to the summoning of Auqib Javeed, a reporter of Kashmir Observer by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) on Saturday and Sunday to question and elicit details of his professional and personal activities.
The NIA officers questioned Auqib Javeed about the sedition case filed against Dukhtaraan-e-Millat chief Asiya Andrabi and two of her aides last week, it was reported. Earlier, he Auqib interviewed her for a local magazine.
The NIA officers also reportedly asked him about the interviews of various persons he did and types of news stories he has written. They also sought details of his education, including schooling and higher studies as well as his family background.
In a statement issued here on Monday, the IJU president S N Sinha, Secretary-General and member of Press Council of India (PCI) Amar Devulapalli and Vice-President Sabina Inderjit said the NIA summons to Auqib Javeed amounted to an attack on freedom of the press and meant to intimidate journalists in Kashmir, who were already working under difficult circumstances. They also regretted that the Centre was using the NIA as a tool to harass journalists in Kashmir and alienating them from the mainstream. Worse, doing interviews is part of the journalists duties and not a national security threat, the statement said.
Earlier, the NIA arrested Photo Journalist Kamran Yusuf and the court threw out the case. We request Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to immediately intervene and stop harassment of journalists in a volatile State. We pledge our support to the journalists in Kashmir, who are yet to come out of the shock of assassination of Rising Kashmir Editor Shujaat Bukhari and we extend all possible support to them, the statement said.
The IJU called on the Chairman of Press Council of India (PCI) Justice C K Prasad and urged him to immediately intervene in the matter by taking suo motu cognizance of the case and protect the journalists in Kashmir from the harassment of security and investigative agencies.
Stop harassing journalists: IFJ
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Tuesday condemned the summoning of Kashmir Observer reporter Auqib Javed Hakim to New Delhi by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) over an interview.
IFJ said that summoning of Auqib is clearly an attempt to intimidate the journalist community of Jammu Kashmir and a gross misuse of the authority.
IFJ urged the concerned authorities of India to immediately allow Auqib to conduct his professional activities as a journalist and refrain from harassing journalists in future.
Respect press freedom in Jammu and Kashmir
The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) to respect press freedom in Jammu and Kashmir and stop harassing Kashmir Observer reporter Auqib Javeed and the local daily Greater Kashmir.
“Questioning Auqib Javeed without a lawyer and trying to force Greater Kashmirto submit raw reporting material is a serious attack on press freedom in the turbulent state of Jammu and Kashmir,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator in Washington, D.C. “These attempts to intimidate journalists will only force the flow of news and information to grind to a halt.”
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