JKPA alleges attack on Kashmir’s media, seeks Guv’s intervention

Srinagar, Mar 20: Alleging that media in Kashmir valley was under attack, Jammu Kashmir Press Association (JKPA) on Wednesday urged Governor Satya Pal Malik to order a probe into alleged threats being given by some agencies to the publishers of newspapers.
A JKPA spokesperson said that an emergency meeting of JKPA was held on Wednesday under the Chairmanship of GH Kaloo. “The Executive Members of JKPA dwelt at length on the threatening messages flashed by some Agencies to the Publishers of newspapers based in Kashmir Valley,” he said.
Describing the threatening messages as a naked attack on the Fourth Pillar of Democracy,” Kaloo said it is disheartening to see that some agencies are threatening media houses of FIRs. “There agencies are threatening 144 publishers and Printing Presses with FIRs. They are threatening to seal these publishers and printing presses for alleged exaggerated circulation figures of newspapers,” he alleged.
He said no doubt media has remained under attack from times immemorial because Journalism aims at unfolding truth which is not palatable. “This is the reason that many Journalists have been martyred in many countries of the world and continue to get humiliated and even killed nowadays,” he said.
He said in J&K in general and Kashmir Valley in particular, many journalists and the Publishers of newspapers have suffered immensely, especially after 1989 when the State was struck by an unprecedented tumultuous situation. “But even then, they kept the flag of Media fluttering and adhered to the Ethics and objectivity of Journalism despite umpteen odds. There have been Strikes, Restrictions, Snapping of Mobile and Internet Services with no Respite even nowadays, but even then they have been bringing out publications regularly,” he said.
Referring to the alleged threats, he said such arm-twisting methods and browbeating are not even prevalent in the countries under Martial Law. “The Indian Constitution guarantees Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Speech to the Citizens of India and as such there is no room for coercion and no space for muzzling of the press,” he said.
Therefore, he said the JKPA has urged the Governor to order a probe into such actions against publishers.