Srinagar: The newly elected body of the Kashmir Press Club on Friday strongly condemned the “baseless” story carried by New Delhi based Times of India (TOI) newspaper.
The report in TOI quoted a senior NIA official claiming editor of Kashmir Reader Hayat Bhat, also known as Haji Hayat, who was summoned last week, has “close connections to terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and has hired known ‘jihadi journalists’ to write for his newspaper”.
“These ‘jihadi journalists’ now happen to be executive members of the Kashmir Press Club as well,” the official was quoted as saying by the report written by journalist M Saleem Pandit, who has headed the Kashmir Press Club in the past.
According to a statement by Kashmir Press Club, in its first meeting today, the body took a strong note of a news story published by The Times of India.
Calling the story ‘baseless and full of insinuations’ against unnamed executive members of the club, the statement said that “it appears from the story that the reporter has filed it without making any efforts to contact any executive member to seek his version. He has also not backed his story with any evidence or facts”.
While condemning the story as highly objectionable, the members observed that it seems to have been filed by the concerned reporter with malafide intent to bring in disrepute to the elected journalist members in particular and the entire club in general.
“This is an attempt to drag the club, which successfully conducted its first-ever elections this month, into unnecessary controversy. The management committee of the club has decided to formally take up the matter with the Editor of the newspaper in New Delhi,” according to the statement.
The statement further reads that a letter of protest in this regards shall be sent to the newspaper concerned. Such baseless insinuations published in a reputed newspaper like Times of India in fact violate the basic standards and ethics of journalism.