Journalists protest police ‘highhandedness’
Stage protest after some scribes were ‘disallowed' to enter R-Day parade venue
Srinagar: Journalists here Saturday staged a protest against Jammu and Kashmir government and police after several scribes were allegedly not allowed to enter the venue of Republic Day function despite possessing valid accreditation passes.
However, Governor’s advisor K Vijay Kumar said in Jammu that the issue of some journalists not being permitted to cover the Republic Day function would be looked into.
The media persons, carrying placards which read “journalism is not a crime”, staged the protest at Residency Road here.
They alleged some of their colleagues were denied entry to Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium — the main venue for Republic Day celebrations even when they had been issued the accreditation passes by the concerned authorities.
They also claimed that some of the accredited journalists were not even issued the passes.
Kumar said the entire process of security clearance for issuance of passes to journalists shall be reviewed for better coordination in future.
“It is learnt that today at Republic Day parade venue in Srinagar some journalists were not permitted to cover the event as the security passes issued to them were found not to be authenticated. The matter shall be looked into, Kumar, who is incharge Home Department, said in a statement issued in Jammu.
He said it has been given to understand that primarily the incident occurred because of the procedure followed by the police for issuance of security passes during such events.
“The entire process of such security clearance shall be reviewed for better coordination in future, he said.
The journalists said that verification report as claimed by police was ‘adverse’ to at least 13 journalists who work with different organizations at national or international level.
They said that despite issuing security passes in their favour, the journalists were barred entry at SK Stadium here following which the journalist fraternity boycotted the function.
Meanwhile, the journalists assembled at Kashmir Press Club here and carried out a peaceful rally towards GantaGhar to protest against the move.
The protesting journalists were holding placards reading slogans in favour of freedom of press.
Shuja-ul-Haq, President of Kashmir Press Club on the occasion said that it was for the first time that media persons were barred entry at the venue where R-Day function was going on. “We want to ask the authorities to come clear over the move,” he added.
“I am witnessing such situation for the first time in last 40 years of my work. We were told that adverse report has been given to 13 journalists which includes some senior journalists as well while the passes were also not issued in favour of some journalists,” Mehraj-ud-din, as senior video journalist said.
He added that they contacted several officers but they claimed that they have no information in this regard. However, he said that they assured the matter will be looked into.
“The future course of action in this regard will be decided in the next meeting, which will likely be held in the next week,” Mehraj said.