Witch-Hunt of Journalists in Kashmir, Now FIR Against The Hindu Correspondent
SRINAGAR, APRIL 21—After booking a young woman photojournalist Masrat Zahra under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Jammu and Kashmir police have filed a First Information Report (FIR) against The Hindu correspondent Peerzada Ashiq for carrying what they termed as "fake news".
Police on Sunday verbally summoned Peerzada Ashiq and asked him to explain the alleged factual inaccuracies in a story that was published on the same day.
Kashmir Press Club (KPC) said while Peerzada explained his case to police in Srinagar, he was asked to travel to South Kashmir, some 40 kilometers away in the evening, and present himself before a police officer in Anantnag district.
“He returned late in the midnight to his home in Srinagar. In the meantime, his family was terrified and concerned about his safety,” said a KPC spokesman.
The story in question was published by the newspaper with a headline…“Kin allowed to exhume bodies of militants in Baramulla”.
Police said they received information regarding a “fake news item" being published in The Hindu newspaper by Peerzada regarding an encounter at Shopian and subsequent developments.
“The details reflected in the news item were found factually incorrect and the said news could cause fear or alarm in the minds of the public. The said news was published without seeking confirmation from the district authorities,” said a police spokesman.
Police said a case was registered in Police Station Anantnag and he was called for questioning. “The investigation in both cases is in progress. For the investigation, the police are legally duty-bound and lawfully empowered under CrPC to summon the suspects for questioning,” he said.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar later appealed the members of media fraternity not to publish “fake and fabricated news”, which has a bearing on national security and potential of causing "social instability".
Taking a strong note of the summoning of a journalist, Kashmir Press Club (KPC) has sought the intervention of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu and Director General of Police Dilbag Singh to end the alleged harassment of journalists.
“While the government has every right to rebut a story, cases against journalists are unwarranted and outrightly illegal and draconian. There is a full-fledged government department -information and public relations - to deal with the issues between state and the journalists. Any issue should be left for them to resolve,” said the spokesman of KPC.