JAMMU: Director General Police SP Vaid has regretted the assault on AFP photojournalist Tauseef Mustafa by a police officer last Thursday and hoped that such “isolated instances” will not come in the way of a “synergised approach of law enforcing agency and the media”, an official spokesman said on Tuesday.
Vaid said the media and police have been working “in complete harmony and in a spirit of camaraderie amid challenging situations”.
His conciliatory remarks came three days after Kashmir Editors Group, an organisation of the owners of leading newspapers in the valley, said they would not publish police press statements and ads till the police chief apologises for the assault on Tauseef.
Following his remarks, the Guild ended the boycott of police. In a statement, a KEG spokesman said, “State police chief talked to KEG President Fayaz Ahmad Kaloo and regretted the police action. He said he will look into the issue, and take action. Dr Vaid also promised that such things will not recur in future.”
“KEG hopes that the police investigates the case thoroughly and ensures that the accused are brought to book. The media body believes that that press has a role and responsibility which it has been delivering professionally and objectively. Any effort to obstruct its legitimate activities will not only be resisted but will automatically question the very fundamentals of the system itself. KEG believes that media being a very small population is already profiled and is identifiable even in worst situations.”
In a statement issued by the official spokesman, Vaid said, “It is heartening that the media and the police are performing their professional responsibilities by understanding each other fully, even at times when the situation unfolds numerous challenges,” the DGP said in a statement.
He appreciated the sagacious approach of the media in meeting challenges confronting the State on various fronts.
“DGP hoped that the media, being the fourth pillar of democracy, will perform its professional obligations in most conducive atmosphere and assured that the police will always facilitate their job by providing all sort of assistance,” the spokesman said.
Vaid said the matter (assault on Tauseef) is being looked into. He said JKP in consultation with the media fraternity intends to provide a special identification badge for photojournalists working in the field so that they are facilitated in performing their professional duties.