Defamatory TOI Report Enrages Kashmir Journalists


SRINAGAR – Various media bodies in Srinagar have taken a strong exception to a news report published in The Times of India which casts aspersions on the Kashmir based journalists and Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) has even decided to take legal recourse over the report.

KEG has termed the TOI report ‘malicious, propagandistic, motivated and defamatory’.

The TOI report has raised points questioning the integrity of the members associated with KEG and the Kashmir Press Club (KPC), terming them as a creation of ISI and ‘Jehadi Journalists’, KEG statement said.

Notably, KPC conducted its first elections last week wherein a managing body was elected through an overwhelming participation of journalists working in Kashmir and the entire exercise was appreciated by all quarters in the state.

The editor’s body felt perturbed over the consequences of such a ‘life threatening piece of reportage’ published by TOI.

KEG comprises of 15 distinguished editors from major newspapers and has been working for the issues facing the media in the state since 2008.


Meanwhile the newly elected body of the Kashmir Press Club (KPC) strongly condemned the baseless story.

According to a statement, in its first meeting on Friday the KPC took a strong note of a news story published by The Times of India. It was observed that the story is baseless and full of insinuations against unnamed executive members of the club.

It appears from the story that the reporter has filed it without making any efforts to contact any executive member to seek his version.  He has also not backed his story with any evidence or facts” the statement reads.

While condemning the story as highly objectionable, the members observed that, “it seems to have been filed by the concerned reporter with malafide intent to bring in disrepute to the elected journalist members in particular and the entire club in general”.

“This is an attempt to drag the club, which successfully conducted its first-ever elections this month, into unnecessary controversy. The management committee of the club has decided to formally take up the matter with the Editor of the newspaper in New Delhi”, according to the statement.

The statement further reads that a letter of protest in this regards shall be sent to the newspaper concerned. Such baseless insinuations published in a reputed newspaper like Times of India in fact violate the basic standards and ethics of journalism.

Kashmir Working Journalist Association (KWJA) and Kashmir Journalists Association (KJA) have expressed outrage over an insinuating report published by the Times of India which uses unsubstantiated allegations to malign and endanger the journalist fraternity of Kashmir and respected institutions like the newly formed Kashmir Press Club, Kashmir Editors Guild, and the daily Kashmir Reader.

We find it unfortunate that the Times of India has given space to such an insinuating report based on its reporter M Salim Pandit’s fantasies and bred out of his personal grouses, KWJA and KJA said in a joint statement.

M Salim Pandit is no stranger to controversies, slander and whimsical allegations mostly based on his personal animosities and fantasies.The reporter is taking shelter in unnamed sources to defame fellow journalists and journalistic institutions in Kashmir, branding them as creations and proxies of Pakistan based agencies, the statement added

The statement said that the reporter has in the past often brought disgrace to the institution of journalism through his fabricated reports and actions. “Ironically the author is trying to create aspersions on Kashmir Press Club even though he had been appointed the president of its first (ad hoc) managing body, with the support of Kashmir Editors Guild.”

His grouses lie in the fact that he was asked to step down by other members after a series of controversies and disgraceful public behaviour on his part, the statement said.

We hope that the newspaper will take corrective action by publishing a corrigendum and bringing down the report from its online edition.”

We the Kashmir Press Club to initiate an inquiry into the irresponsible behaviour of its member M Salim Pandit, the statement added.

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