The Press Council of India (PCI) formed a three-member investigative committee in response to the letter from former Chief Minister and PDP Chairman Mehbooba Mufti to the media outlet to send a investigation team in Kashmir regarding “harassment and intimidation of journalists” by the administration.
The three-member committee includes Prakash Dubey, group organizer and editor-in-chief Daink Bhaskar, Gurbir Singh, The New Indian Express and Dr. Suman Gupta, editor-in-chief of Jan Morcha.
The PCI said the committee was required to fully investigate the matter and hold discussions with relevant journalists, relevant authorities and gather any information it deemed appropriate to submit its report to the council as soon as possible.
He asked the authorities of Jammu and Kashmir to provide their full cooperation and assistance to this investigation committee.
The mufti was quick to thank the PCI for responding to his letter. âThanks to @PressCouncil_IN for its decision to form an investigative committee to investigate the harassed journalists at J&K. Let us hope that the local administration ensures its full cooperation so that this committee can carry out its task. (sic), âshe said in a tweet.
Mufti in a letter to PCI on Monday said police raids were carried out on the homes of several journalists in Kashmir earlier this month. “Personal items such as electronic gadgets, including phones and laptops, were illegally seized, along with their spouses’ ATM cards and passports,” the letter said.
He said it came close to the heartbreaking experiences the journalist community in Jammu and Kashmir was subjected to after the central government’s repeal of Section 370.
The letter stated that 23 journalists had been placed on the exit checklist.
He said that even students who get scholarships at prestigious colleges at top universities around the world are not allowed to study there. “Recently, a student was taken off a plane, arrested and then released.”
He said a significant number of journalists are either threatened or charged with sections under UAPA or the Sedition Act simply because their reporting on J&K does not respond to the public relations stunts of the exemption. in power. Mufti said bringing the truth to power is criminalized every day.
“I firmly believe that the journalists who work and report at J&K are among the bravest in the world, especially at a time when much of the Indian media has become an extension of central government propaganda,” the letter said.
He said it was unfortunately a diabolical method of perpetuating the community spirit across the country in order to gain prominence and political relevance by humiliating and marginalizing an entire community.
âIt had been hoped that the Press Council of India would take note suo moto of these widely reported incidents, but it appears that no established monitoring forum, including the courts, has addressed the painful circumstances created in J&K, not to say of any intervention, ” the letter reads.