Srinagar: Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG), in a statement condemned the action of the security grid for not allowing senior journalists to cover the parade on the eve of Republic Day of India that was held at the Sher-i-Kashmir stadium in Srinagar on Saturday.
Senior journalists were stopped at the main gate of the venue by security personnel and were not allowed to move inside despite having valid security passes provided to them by the authorities, said the KEG, in a statement.
Senior photo Journalists who had gone to cover the event were not allowed by the security men on the pretext that police has got adverse verification report against them.
The action by the security men on the ground suggests that the security establishment wishes to frighten the media by not allowing them to carry out their professional duties, KEG said.
“Today’s incident provides a grim reminder yet again about the fact that how vulnerable the media is in an area that is riddled with conflict and lawlessness”, said the statement.
The stopping of journalists from carrying out their duties, it said, is becoming a norm these days as the journalists were also stopped from covering an event on Thursday in Baramulla.
“Even security passes against senior journalists were not issued by the security establishment for today’s R-day event. The way things are going ahead it is in no way going to help in creating a free and independent institution of media in the state,” said the KEG.
While strongly condemning the incident, the KEG called for a strong action against officials involved in the act.
“KEG demands that the state government should take stringent action against the police officers who sought to muzzle the press and take steps to create a situation where media can function freely and discharge its duty to the citizens by providing information on the happenings in the state.
“KEG also demands the details of the so called adverse reports that the police claims it has collected against the senior scribes.”
Meanwhile, journalists took out a protest rally against the act. They started their protest at Kashmir Press Club and marched towards the historic clock tower at the City Centre.