Takeover of Kashmir Press Club is illegal Arbitrary- IJU
The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) would like to bring to the notice of the Press Council of India the forcible takeover of Kashmir Press Club by a self appointed group of journalists. The takeover is an illegal and arbitrary act backed by the New Delhi controlled administration. The latest development in this sordid affair is the takeover of the Press Club premises by the Jammu Kashmir Government.
The incident happened on 15 August 2022 is yet another brazen instance of attack on media and freedom of expression by the administration in Kashmir valley. On that day there was large scale deployment of police and paramilitary forces at the Kashmir Press Club even before the takeover. This strongly indicates the complicity of the administration. The IJU has already demanded immediate restoration of status ante.
Ever since the border state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two union territories in August 2019 free media and free speech are under continuous battering. Journalists are subjected to various forms of attacks including illegal arrests.
The arrest of 26 year old Sajad Ahmed for posting a video of protest and his continued detention despite bail is the latest example. The entry of armed personnel into the Kashmir Press Club is a blatant act of muzzling the independent voice of journalists in the valley which is completely unacceptable to IJU.
The IJU requests the Press Council of India to sue moto take up this issue in order to safeguard the media freedom in general and to stand for the rights of journalists in Kashmir in particular.