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KEG condemns scribe’s alleged abuse by police

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KPC denounces slapping of a journalist; demands halt to summons to journalists

Srinagar: Kashmir Editors Guild has expressed anguish and pain over the reported abuse of journalist Auqib Javeed by the cyber cell of police in Srinagar.

Auqib, an accredited journalist, had been summoned over a story that was published by an on-line news portal in Delhi.

The Guild, in a press release here said though the responsibility of the report published rests mostly with the publisher, the “raw deal” that Auqib Javeed got post-summoning does not suit any decision-maker.

Auqib, in his first-hand account published by the website, has said that he was slapped and abused. He also said that on the basis of a phone call from the cyber cell, the website editor did acknowledge certain issues with the report and rectified it right away. Even if there could have been issues with the report, the reporter and the website were morally bound to rectify it, if any.

KEG has maintained throughout that the reporters, per se, lack a direct stake-holding in a happening beyond reporting it for the society. “Reporters’ role and that of the larger media is mostly that of an unbiased postman. However, it is tragic that every time, there is an issue; it is the messenger that is under attack,” KEG said.

It said once again, the KEG is urging the authorities to avoid making media a casualty of a situation in which media lacks a role other than that of record-keeping.

“Kashmir media including the newspapers published in Jammu and Kashmir and the professionals reporting for diverse media within and outside the country are professional, objective and very well experienced. Making media a deliberate victim does not augur well for the larger society and does not suit the democratic polity either,” KEG said.

Meanwhile, Kashmir Press Club (KPC) has condemned the behaviour of the police towards a young journalist Auqib Javeed. He was summoned to the cyber police station on Saturday in connection with a story he had written recently for a news portal.

In a statement issued here today, a spokesman of KPC said that Auqib Javeed, as per his account, was slapped by a ‘masked’ policeman. He also mentioned that he was abused during this time.

“This behaviour towards a journalist is highly condemnable. hitting/slapping or abusing a Journalist in connection with a story he or she has written cannot be accepted in any society and goes against the freedom of the press,” said the statement, adding, “We urge the LG of J&K to look into these issues of difficulties faced by the journalists while performing their professional duties in Kashmir valley”.

While maintaining that summoning of reporters by police for their stories has become a routine practice in Kashmir, KPC statement asked LG administration to work out a mechanism so that a conducive atmosphere is available for journalists to deliver their duties without fear and reprisals.

Cyber Police Kashmir Zone Reacts

A statement issued by Cyber Police Kashmir Zone, Srinagar, about the issue is reproduced below verbatim:

“On 17.09.2020 it was reliably learnt that one story captioned “The Real Cyber Bully: Police in Kashmir Question Kashmir Twitter” was published on “Article-14” an online news portal. In the story the writer depicted a misleading picture with incorrect detail. The headline and the picture with some of the content were factually incorrect hence misleading. The writer published a picture of a building showing it as Cyber Police Station Kashmir Zone, Srinagar, which is incorrect. The fact of the matter is that the Cyber Police Station has been notified as Police Station in Octorber-2019 and was established in the upper storey of Police Station Shergari building. The said writer has misled the general public about the functioning of Cyber Police Station and its establishment.

“Accordingly on 18.09.2020 the said writer was called in the Cyber Police Station Kashmir in connection with clarification of facts mentioned in the article and on 19.09.2020, the said writer visited the Cyber Police Station Kashmir accompanied by some senior journalists from Kashmir Press Club. The writer admitted that the picture published in the article is incorrect and has also admitted that he has no knowledge about the functioning and establishment of Cyber Police Station Kashmir. Further the writer also admitted that he has never visited Cyber Police Station and has no knowledge regarding establishment of Cyber Police Station Kashmir at Shergari Complex. The writer and other accompanying (senior journalists) regretted the incorrect detail and assured that story will be tweaked accordingly. On this the writer namely Aqib Javeed along with accompanying senior journalists of Kashmir Press Club asked to meet the SP Incharge Cyber Police Station Kashmir. Finally the writer accompanying other senior journalists met the SP Incharge Cyber Police Station and showed the tweaked story and regretted for publishing incorrect/misleading content. Later they left for their respective destinations.

“The allegation of excesses by Police officials/ officer, published subsequently by Article-14 and other Social Media handle are misleading and factually incorrect, hence refuted”.

Something about the picture!!

Srinagar: The statement issued by the Cyber Police says that the writer published a picture of a building showing it as Cyber Police Station Kashmir Zone, Srinagar, which is incorrect.

Police Sir, such pictures are called “REPRESENTATIONAL PICTURES” by media all over the world. Reporters have no say in that.

These are used by Editors, most of the time, from Google.

A simple question:

“Why thrash and abuse a reporter for publication of a pic that he never clicked?”

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