Srinagar: An “overenthusiastic” officer in the security wing of Jammu and Kashmir Police took the decision to bar some journalists from the Republic Day function in Srinagar, officials said on Monday.
A preliminary enquiry found that the officer of the additional superintendent of police rank prepared a list of journalists based on a CID report and directed his subordinates to bar them from the event, they said.
According to the officials, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) gives regular reports on the background of journalists, which includes their possible leanings towards separatists or any of their kin being associated with militant groups or being an overground worker.
However, the journalists have always been allowed to attend government functions without any problem in the past, they said.
The CID report, based on which the officer issued the direction, nowhere mentions that the journalists or photo-journalists should be barred from covering the event, the officials said.
Journalists had on Saturday staged a protest after several scribes, especially photographers, were not allowed to enter the venue of the Republic Day function despite possessing valid accreditation passes.
This had prompted Governor’s advisor K Vijay Kumar to issue a statement that the issue would be looked into.
The Editors Guild of India on Monday said the denial of entry to several senior journalists into a stadium in Srinagar to cover the Republic Day function was an “unprecedented state-sponsored attack” on press freedom and demanded an inquiry into the incident. —PTI