It seems under unwritten orders the J-K government continues with its media gag policy. One more journalist was beaten up, humiliated and forced to move boulders on a road despite curfew pass. Many allege thet are being stopped from covering the spots of action.
The Star News Bureau Chief (name withheld) was on Wednesday evening stopped by the posse of CRPF and harassed at Hazratbal when he was on his way after discharging professional duties.
“The journalist was asked to alight from the vehicle and told to clear the road from blockades. He was asked to do manual labour by removing stones from the roads and throw it in the river,” said a spokesman of the Kashmir Journalists Corps, a body of Srinagar-based journalist.
“If it was not enough, he was beaten to the pulp by the trigger-happy forces. Dozens of soldiers used abusive language and pounced on him without any rhyme or reason. This despite the fact that he had valid curfew pass from the Information Department,” said the spokesman.
The victim journalist was among the two-member team that held a meeting with Khursheed Ganai, principal secretary to chief minister Omar Abdullah, where he had assured that no media person will be harassed.
Many photojournalists allege they are not allowed move around and reach the spots where the action is going on.
Several senior journalists have been thrashed by security forces since the eruption of unrest on June 11. A senior journalist, Riyaz Masroor, who works with the BBC, was beaten up when he was on his way to collect his curfew pass on the call of the Information Department. An FIR was also lodged against a journalist working with a New Delhi-based television channel accusing him of false reporting. The state government also banned the media from carrying statements of a separatist once.
All Valley-based newspapers remained shut for four days when the government failed to provide security or curfew passes to their when their staff and reporters in the third week of June.
“We are working in a dangerous situation. The threat is from those called in to provide us security. The gag will only fuel rumours and further exasperate the situation,” said Naseer Ahmad, a Srinagar-based journalist.