Srinagar: Kashmir Editors Guild has expressed anguish and pain over the reported abuse of journalist Auqib Javed by the police, managing the cyber cell in Srinagar.
Auqib, an accredited journalist, had been summoned over a story that was published by an on-line news portal in Delhi. The Guild said though the responsibility of the report published rests mostly with the publisher, the raw deal that Auqib Javed got post-summoning does not suit any decision-maker.
Auqib, in his first hand account, published by the website has said that he was slapped and abused. He also said that on the basis of the phone call, from the cyber cell, the website editor did acknowledge certain issues with the report and rectified it right away. Even if there could have been issues with the report, the reporter and the website were morally bound to rectify it, if any.
KEG has maintained throughout that the reporters, per se, lack a direct stake holding in a happening beyond reporting it for the society. Reporters’ role and that of the larger media is mostly that of an unbiased postman. However, it is tragic that every time, there is an issue; it is the messenger that is under attack.
Yet again, the KEG is urging the authorities to avoid making media a casualty of a situation in which media lacks a role other than record-keeping.
Kashmir media including the newspapers published in Jammu and Kashmir and the professionals reporting for diverse media within and outside the country are professional, objective and very well experienced. Making media a deliberate victim does not augur well for the larger society and does not suit the democratic polity either.
KPC Demands LGs Intervention
The Kashmir Press Club also issued a statement condemning the behavior of the police towards Auqib.
As per his account which has been published today the young journalist was slapped by a ‘masked’ policeman. Aquib also mentions that he was abused during this time.
According to statement, the KPC feels this behavior towards a journalist is highly condemnable. “Hitting/slapping or abusing a journalist in connection with a story he or she has written cannot be accepted in any society and goes against the freedom of the press.”
“We hope the higher ups in the police department thoroughly inquire into this matter”, KPC statement read.
KPC also urged the LG of J&K to look into these issues of difficulties faced by journalists while performing their professional duties in Kashmir valley.
“Summons to reporters by the police for their stories has become a routine practice in Kashmir now.The club demands an end to this practice”, it said.
“The LG’s administration should work out a mechanism so that a conducive atmosphere is available for journalists to deliver their duties without fear and reprisals”, the statement said.
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