Srinagar: Mainstream political parties condemned assault by police on journalists in full public glare in Srinagar on Tuesday, seeking action against the erring police personnel.
National Conference Additional General Secretary Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal took strong exception to the use of brutal force against the journalists who were documenting Muharram procession at Jahangir Chowk.
He said the disproportionate use of force against journalists, mostly the photojournalists is condemnable.
“It is very unfortunate to see J&K police resort to inexcusable barbarism. It is being reported that cameras of scores of journalists were broken by the police in the unfortunate incident. Far from ensuring an enabling atmosphere for the journalists to work in a free and fair manner, the administration is resorting to such unwarranted actions.
“Such wanton use of force against the fourth pillar of democracy is a clear indictment of the utter disregard the incumbent administration has for press freedom. I demand the incident should be taken note of and the erring offices brought to justice. Administration is also duty bound to compensate photojournalists for the losses their equipment has suffered in the incident,” Kamal said.
Political Advisor to Vice president Omar Abdullah Tanvir Sadiq and Spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar have also condemned the brute use of force against the Muharram mourners and journalists who were documenting the procession at Jahangir Chowk.
Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference led by Sajad Lone termed the thrashing of journalists as merciless and expressed serious concern over such repeated acts of the use of force against media fraternity.
“Merciless beating of journalists is highly condemnable. We express serious concern over such repeated acts of use of force on the media fraternity without any accountability. Surprisingly the upholders of the law are out to demolish the founding principles of law,” JKPC Tweeted.
Jammu and Kashmir Civil Society Forum also condemned the police action on a group of journalists.
JKCSF Chairman Abdul Qayoom Wani expressed concern over the thrashing of journalists describing it as sheer injustice and an attack on the freedom of press.
Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) called the police assault unfortunate and uncalled for.
It said that media is fourth pillar of democracy and they should not be intimated while performing their duties.
“JKPCC feels disappointed over the thrashing of media persons, who were covering Muharram procession and expresses its full solidarity with the fraternity(media), concomitantly the Party urges the Govt to ensure that media persons are allowed to perform their duties, without any fear,” JKPCC said.
Apni Party Senior Vice President Ghulam Hassan Mir on Tuesday termed the thrashing of media persons who were covering Muharram procession at Jahangir Chowk as undemocratic and uncalled for incident.
He said the media is the fourth pillar of democracy and the coverage of routine happenings is a part of their professional obligation that must not be dissuaded with the use of force or any sort of intimidation.
“Today’s incident in which journalists allege that they were thrashed by police while doing their duty is extremely unwarranted. These journalists were performing their usual professional duties. These kinds of occurrences need to be stopped as it taints democratic ethos of our country,” he said.
Mir urged the government to put a check on the use of power and order restraint in order to avoid hurting the innocent people who are in the line of their duty.