Srinagar, Apr 14: National Conference Friday expressed outrage over the incident wherein a journalist working for a local daily at Pulwama was terrorized and threatened and demanded that police file an FIR into the incident.
“Jammu and Kashmir Police should thoroughly and swiftly investigate death threats against journalist Ab Qayoom Khan and ensure his safety,” Provincial Spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar according to the statement issued to KNS said adding that Police must prove itself to be the protector of free press and any attempts made to intimidate press be sternly dealt with.
“Ever since PDP-BJP assumed power, free speech has been a casualty. Whether it was a case of a policemen beating journalists or for that matter banning newspaper publications this regime has been at the forefront of gagging media and subjugate an opposing view. PDP perhaps wants press to be its propaganda machinery and when Qayoom exposed the sinister attempts of the regime on polling day, he was not just abused verbally but given life threats. The journalist had just performed his professional duty and reported the case of bogus voting in Beerwah by PDP,” he said.
While calling the present times as the dark hours for free press, Imran said, “ Now they are openly threatening free and independent working journalists. If no action is taken immediately this may well herald the fall of fair and unbiased journalism in Kashmir that has even withstood last three decades of turmoil.”
“NC expects authorities to conduct fair and prompt investigations into the threats against Qayoom and his family to bring those responsible to justice to deter others from this ugly and unacceptable behaviour. (KNS)