Journalists to protest Press Council’s ‘support’ for media gag in Kashmir

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 26, 2019

Various organisations of editors and journalists have decided to hold a protest on Tuesday against the Press Council of India’s decision to support gagging of media by the Centre and the State administration in Kashmir.

The Editors’ Guild, the Press Association, the Indian Women Press Corps and the Press Club of India said in a joint statement that even news agencies are not allowed to send reports from the Valley.

The organisations said the source of news from the Valley is either the government or international media and said the Centre has contradicted the reports that have appeared so far in the international media. “The country wants to know the reality in the State. Without proclaiming any Emergency, reporters are prevented from doing their duty and some of them are even under arrest,” the statement said.

The Indian Women’s Press Corps said in a separate statement that Press Council of India chairman, Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad did not confide or even discuss with other members of the PCI before taking a stand in a writ petition filed by Kashmir Times executive editor Anuradha Bhasin in the Supreme Court.

“Bhasin had filed a writ petition in the apex court on August 10 challenging curbs on media freedom in Jammu & Kashmir and sought directions to relax all restrictions on mobile, internet and landline services to enable journalists to perform their duties.

The PCI’s intervention is an abdication of its responsibilities and is against the very purpose for which the body was set up. The council founded by an act of Parliament is meant to uphold press freedom and improve standards of journalism.

The crux of Bhasin’s writ is to facilitate the operation of the media in Kashmir,” the IWPC said. “The rough handling of the media covering the Opposition delegation to Srinagar on Friday is especially deplored,” it added.

Published on August 26, 2019

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