Srinagar, Jan 26: Journalists staged a protest rally against barring several colleagues from the R-Day function at SK Stadium in Srinagar. Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) strongly condemned the action of the state’s security grid.
The senior journalists were stopped at the main gate of the venue by security personnel and were not allowed to move inside despite having valid security passes provided to them by the authorities.
The senior photo Journalists had gone to cover the event and were not allowed by the security men on the pretext that police has got an adverse verification report against them.
Scores of journalists started their protest at Kashmir Press Club and marched towards the historic clock tower at the City Centre.
“The action by the security men on the ground suggests that the security establishment wishes to frighten the media by not allowing them to carry out their professional duties,” KEG said.
Today’s incident provides a grim reminder yet again about the fact that how vulnerable the media is in an area that is riddled with conflict and “lawlessness”, the KEG added.
The stopping of journalists from carrying out their duties is becoming a norm these days as the journos were also stopped from covering an event on Thursday in Baramulla.
Even security passes against senior journalists were not issued by the security establishment for today’s Republic day event.
“The way things are going ahead it is in no way going to help in creating a free and independent institution of media in the state.”
KEG while strongly condemning the incident calls for strong action against those officials who were involved in the act today.
KEG demands that the state government should take stringent action against the police officers who sought to muzzle the press and take steps to create a situation where media can function freely and discharge its duty to the citizens by providing information on the happenings in the state.
KEG also demands the details of the so-called adverse reports that the police claims it has collected against the senior scribes.
Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar said that the issue of some journalists not being permitted to cover the Republic Day function in Srinagar would be looked into. He said the entire process of security clearance for issuance of passes to journalists shall be reviewed for better coordination in the future.
“It is learnt that today at Republic Day parade venue in Srinagar some journalists were not permitted to cover the event as the security passes issued to them were found not to be authenticated. The matter shall be looked into,” Advisor Kumar, who is Incharge Home Department, said in a statement.
He said it has been given to understand that primarily the incident occurred because of the procedure followed by the police for the issuance of security passes during such events. “The entire process of such security clearance shall be reviewed for better coordination in future,” he said.