Taking a strong exception to the barring of senior journalists in Srinagar from covering the Republic Day, the Editors Guild of India (EGI) on Monday termed it an “unprecedented state-sponsored attack on press freedom”. The guild also demanded an inquiry into the incident.
“It is shocking that many of them (journalists) were stopped from entering the stadium to perform their professional duty in spite of their possessing entry passes issued by the state government’s Information Department,” the EGI statement read.”Equally deplorable is the state government’s earlier decision to deny entry passes for covering the Republic Day function to many other senior journalists”.
The Guild has now demanded an enquiry into the incident. It has also sought “an assurance from the government that such reprehensible acts would not be repeated”.
“If necessary, a fool-proof and non-discriminatory system of issuing entry passes to journalists to help them perform their professional duty in high-security areas must be introduced at the earliest,” the EGI statement read.
The incident has been widely condemned in Kashmir. Even though K Vijay Kumar, the advisor to the J&K Governor Darya Pal Malik has promised “to look into the matter”, there has so far been no follow-up action so far.