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Journalists protest barring of senior scribes from R-Day function

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KEG condemns; demands details of ‘adverse’ reports

Photo/ Javed Khan

Srinagar, Jan 26: Scores of journalists on Saturday took out a protest rally against barring of several scribes from the R-Day function at Sher-i-Kashmir Cricket Stadium in Srinagar.

Scores of journalists started their protest at Kashmir Press Club and marched towards the historic clock tower at the City Centre.

Condemning the incident, Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) has demanded action against the officials who denied passes to the journalists.

“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,” KEG said in a statement.

Senior photo-journalists who had gone to cover the event were not allowed by the security men on the pretext that “police has got adverse verification report against them”.

“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,” said the statement.

The stopping of journalists from carrying out their duties, it said, is becoming a norm these days as the journalists 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 R-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,” said the KEG.

While strongly condemning the incident, the KEG called for a strong action against officials 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,” the statement said.

Issue will be looked into, says Advisor Kumar

Jammu, Jan 26: Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar Saturday said 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 would be reviewed for better coordination in 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,” Kumar, who is in-charge Home department, said in a statement here.

He said primarily the incident occurred because of the procedure followed by the police for issuance of security passes during such events.

“The entire process of such security clearance shall be reviewed for better coordination in future,” he said.

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