- To hold sit-in at Lal Chowk on July 6
Srinagar: The Executive Council of the Jammu and Kashmir Media Guild on Tuesday held an emergency meeting in Srinagar and later unanimously denounced the J&K Government for what it termed as “unethical, immoral and undemocratic” media policy announced by the government recently.
The executive council, which met under the chairmanship of president Mir Ajaz Ahmad and was attended by Vice President Bilal Bazaz, General Secretary Imtiyaz Ahmad Bazaz, Executive members Shahid Rashid, Khalid Qureshi, Reyaz Ahmad Reshi and members Mir Mushtaq Ahmad, Ruby Nisa Khan and others, deliberated on the media policy and other “draconian laws being used to intimidate the media fraternity in Kashmir”, a statement issued by the guild said.
Patrons of J&K Media Guild, Probodh Jamwal and Suhail Kazmi, participated in the meeting through video conferencing.
The speakers on the occasion termed the “continuous arrogance from police and other government agencies against the media as a virtual censorship to pursue sinister designs,”the statement read.
The speakers referred to a recent press statement of DG Police Dilbagh Singh wherein he “disgraced a section of media-men as scurrilous elements”.
“The speakers rejected the media policy, where the journalists will be forced to seek permission from the unscrupulous elements of the government before publishing any report,” the guild said.
The guild said it would be “better to close all media houses than to serve sinister designs of a lobby of vested interests”.
General Secretary Imtiyaz Ahmad Bazaz urged upon all the media organisations, publications, accredited journalists and photo journalists to unite at this “hour of grave crisis being faced by one and all, which has the potential to uproot the foundations of journalism in Kashmir ‘’.
Vice president Bilal Bazaz challenged the government to implement the media policy and “be ready to face the consequences as the entire fraternity will come out on streets to fight the draconian tooth and nail”.
“We can’t compromise on professional ethics to please an undemocratic and uncalled for order to intimidate us. We have worked in the toughest ever situations, where we were on the mouth of the barrel every time, but didn’t compromise, ” he added.
He said the journalist fraternity had sacrificed several colleagues while discharging professional duties without compromising on the basic values of journalism.
President Ajaz Ahmad Mir said that whenever any media policy is prepared in any part of the country, the government has to take into confidence the members of the fraternity, “but this ill-conceived policy might have been prepared by a group of sick people in the government, as the so called policy announced is a worst kind of slap on the democratic system of the country”.
He added that the media “can’t be intimidated by escalating the threat perception in the minds of journalists”.
Mir vowed to “frustrate these ill-conceived designs of the government at any cost”.
He urged upon all the media associations to come forward and fight the “onslaught” unitedly.
The Guild unanimously condemned the “anti-media and undemocratic media policy” and also invited all the media organisations, journalists, and media associations for a day-long sit-in at Lal Chowk on 6th of July at 11.00 AM.