Srinagar: Kashmir Journalist Association (KJA) Tuesday expressed outrage over the continuous detention of Journalist Asif Sultan by Jammu and Kashmir, Police. The association termed the charges framed against him “unconstitutional and intimidating” on press freedom.
“The arrest of a journalist and pressurising him in police custody to reveal his sources is against the democratic and constitutional values that govern the press. This amounts to a sheer harassment which is highly condemnable,” a KJA statement said.
Asif’s father and Editor Kashmir Narrator had said, Asif is being questioned about some stories he has done for the English magazine where he works as assistant editor. He was picked up from his home in Batamaloo locality of Srinagar during a midnight raid and was kept in illegal detention for six days, the statement quoting Asif’s family said.
On Saturday, Police announced that Asif has been officially arrested in connection with a FIR and is lodged in the police station Batamaloo. They accused him of involvement in “harbouring terrorists” but they didn’t make the charges against him public. Also the reason of FIR police gave is silly because they stated that they found some “incriminating material” in his laptop which is vague because every journalist will have such a material in his laptop or phone, the statement added.
KJA believes that the charges levelled against Asif are baseless as the FIR was filed after the concerned police official had an argument with his Editor over his illegal detention, KJA statement said.
“This illegal detention has put the life and career of Asif in danger. So, KJA is demanding intervention from top officials of police and the Governor of J&K. We also appeal the Press Council of India (PCI), human rights bodies, and national and international media and rights watchdogs to intervene in the matter,” KJA said.
“If Asif is not released, KJA will be forced to initiate the legal battle against the erring police officials and come on roads to protest against the unconstitutional action,” the statement concluded.