Ask government to revoke its order on the club
Srinagar: A day after the government shut Kashmir Press Club, political parties including Congress, J&K Apni Party, JKPM and CPI (M) on Tuesday described it as a blatant move to throttle freedom of press.
In a statement, Apni Party senior vice President Ghulam Hassan Mir said India is the largest democratic nation in the world and even if J&K is currently administered under the Lt Governor’s rule, the democratic values enshrined in the constitution remain relevant in all circumstances.
He said the takeover of the Kashmir Press Club building and land in Srinagar is an unjustified move that the government should have desisted from in order to allow the impartial functioning of the press.
“Media is the fourth pillar of democracy as it persistently voices the issues concerning the welfare of the citizens, progress and development. Apni Party doesn’t subscribe to such irrational moves wherein an important press association has been dispossessed off its office overnight. We totally oppose such arbitrary actions,” he said.
Mir said the administration has no stake to indulge in the internal matters of the Press Club rather it should facilitate the proper functioning of this organization.
“Apni Party would suggest that the administration should at once restore the previous position of the said building in favor of the Kashmir Press Club and allow them to proceed as per the norms of that organization without any uncalled for state interventions. This will ensure that the government is not withholding the constitutional guarantees conferred on the citizens and associations alike,” he demanded.
Stating that closure of Press Club was unacceptable and unfair, the J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Tuesday urged the LG administration to revisit the decision.
The party said it unequivocally condemns the closure of Kashmir Press Club by the administration and sought revocation of the closure order in the larger interest of the press freedom, while laying emphasizes over paving the way for holding free and fair elections to the Club.
Congress party expresses serious concern over the developments relating to KPC and urge the administration to help settle down the issue by paving way for early elections to the KPC.
Expressing resentment over the closure of Kashmir Press Club by the administration, CPI(M) Secretary Ghulam Nabi Malik has said that closing club is an assaults on the rights of the people.
In a statement, he said that this act is just a part of a policy which started with putting the registration of the club in abeyance. “The administration has finally closed the club,” he said.
“The closure of the Kashmir Press Club is part of the continuous process to throttle the press freedom and democracy in Kashmir. The press/media in Jammu and Kashmir is already working under immense stress and strain,” he said.
He demanded immediate restoration of the status quo of the club impending re-registration, providing atmosphere, where KPC can conduct free and fair elections. (KNS)
Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement aghast over the move taken by LG administration to close the Kashmir Press Club which were approved by state government in 2018 for the convenience of print and electronic media.
JKPM said that administration should not interfere in the matters of press freedom as Constitution of India has guaranteed it under Article 19(1) (a)-legal services of India, as press is fourth pillar of democracy and administration’s interference in the press matter and closer of KPC is direct attack on democratic and constitutional rights as guaranteed by constitution of India.
It said that it is very unfortunate that “civil and police administration are showing aggressive and arrogant approach in this regard which will create gap between people and administration as press is working as bridge between and public and press are raising the issues of general public before administration and forcibly take over press body is not good sign for the Jammu and Kashmir”.
Chairman People’s Democratic Front (PDF) Hakeem Yaseen too flayed government decision to take over Kashmir Press Club (KPC), describing it a blatant move to throttle freedom of press.
In a statement, Hakeem while criticising government for closing down Kashmir Press Club arbitrarily, said that the decision amounts to an onslaught on the working of press.
He said closing KPC was aimed at to impede facilities provided to media persons to work in a free atmosphere.
He said press was fourth pillar of democracy adding that by closing KPC, JK Union Territory has brought bad name to India- the largest democratic country, in the free world order.
“It was heart-wrenching that instead of providing more facilities to media in Kashmir, existing press infrastructure was being clipped slow and steady in a planned manner to satiate vested political interests,” Hakeem Yaseen observed. He has demanded that the premises of the snatched KPC should be restored immediately as the media in Kashmir was already working under immense stress.