‘Internet curbs will add to pressure-cooker situation’
Srinagar: There has been no fair investigation in the cases of murder or attempted murder against media personnel in Kashmir, the Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) said here on Tuesday.
In a meeting held on the eve of World Press Freedom Day, the media body paid tributes to journalists who lost their lives while performing their duties in the past 25 years.
“Those brave people would always be remembered as the real heroes of an institution that is the society’s main history recorder,” the KEG said.
“In all these murders and attempted murders, cases were registered and promises of fair investigations were made, but not in a single case were the promises kept,” the KEG pointed out.
Calling it as “increasing systemic interventions in restricting the collection and dissemination of information,” the KEG added that the closure of mobile internet, the blocking of social media, and the deliberate reduction of bandwidth in broadband services is a clear case of “flouting the constitutional guarantees by a system that is supposed to guard it.”
“It would add to the pressure-cooker situation that prevails in Kashmir,” the media body said.
The KEG said it regretted the “lackadaisical attitude” of the authorities in not taking action against officials, mostly in the security set-up, despite promising the KEG and other media watchdogs to do so. “This has remained an old tactic of the system in handling the media in Kashmir for a very long time,” the guild said.
The editors put on record, according to the official statement, the commitment and resilience of news photographers and working journalists representing Kashmir and also the non-Kashmir journalists – of digital, print and electronic media – who risked their lives in recording the events that unfolded in the past year.
“There were countless instances in which they were subjected to marshalling and humiliation but they ensured it does not lead to erasing of events from the contemporary history,” KEG said.
The KEG also announced to commission three awards, one each for best story in Urdu and English and one for the best news photograph of the year.
“The three medals would be formally announced and given on Press Freedom Day 2018,” the KEG said, adding that these awards would be restricted to reporters working for media outlets within the state of J&K.