KEG condemns attack on journalists, demands action against guilty cops
Srinagar, Oct 17: Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) on Wednesday strongly condemned the manhandling of various reporters and videographers by policemen in Fateh Kadal locality of Srinagar where they had gone to fulfill a “professional obligation”.
Two militants, a civilian and a policeman were killed in the locality in a gunfight that broke out early today.
“The house in which the encounter took place was on fire and they (journalists) were covering the incident. At the time of the police’s illegal attack on media, there was no gun-battle, no protest and the only activity was the firefighters were extinguishing the fire from spreading around,” KEG said in a statement.
KEG said that the police action on the ground suggests that “the counter-insurgency establishment wishes to frighten the media and stop this institution from covering anything which the grid dislikes and take over the entire systems and processes.
“We strongly feel that the attack on journalists that too when several senior officers from various security agencies where witnessing the ignominy, is aimed to send a strong signal to the media that any reportage contrary to the establishment point-of-view would be dealt with sternly,” KEG said.
It said today’s incident is yet again a grim reminder of the fact how vulnerable the press core is in an area that is riddled with conflict and lawlessness.
“The crisis, however, is that the beating of journalists by police and paramilitary men is becoming a routine now and this state of affairs is an impediment in helping institutions deliver their professional duties. In today’s incident, a senior police officer was watching as his subordinates were beating the journalists,” KEG statement said.
It said almost 20 journalists including photographers, videographers and the TV reporters were beaten. Some of them have received serious injuries and they are currently in the hospital.
“KEG while strongly condemning the incident calls for a strong action against those who were involved in the act,” the statement said.
Kashmir Press Club (KPC) has also condemned the thrashing of journalists by the government forces in Fateh Kadal area.
“Many reporters and photo journalists were beaten up while they were delivering their professional duties this morning. One of the injured journalists is also a member of the executive team of KPC,” said a spokesman of the KPC in a statement.
“It is also being reported that the thrashing took place right in front of senior police officers. The KPC has expressed shock over this behaviour by the forces. It hopes that the state administration will take a note of this and act,” said the statement.