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Media bodies, KPC trash TOI report

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KEG to take legal recourse, others seek action against TOI Correspondent

Srinagar: Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) has taken a strong exception to a news report published from Srinagar in ‘The Times of India’ and has decided to take legal recourse over the report. Meanwhile, Kashmir Press Club and various other media organizations have taken a strong exception to the ‘malicious’ report.
KEG in a statement issued here termed the TOI report, which casts aspersions on the Kashmir based journalists, malicious, propagandistic, motivated and defamatory.
The said report has raised points questioning the integrity of the members associated with KEG and the Kashmir Press Club (KPC), terming them as a creation of ISI and ‘Jehadi Journalists’.
Notably, KPC conducted its first elections last week wherein a managing body was elected through an overwhelming participation of journalists working in Kashmir and the entire exercise was appreciated by all quarters in the state.
The editor’s body felt perturbed over the consequences of such a life threatening piece of reportage published by TOI.
KEG is a body of not more than 15 distinguished editors and has been working for the issues facing the media.
Meanwhile, the newly elected management committee of the Kashmir Press Club (KPC) in its meeting took a strong note of a news story published in the TOI.
“It was observed that the story is baseless and full of insinuations against unnamed executive members of the club. 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,” a statement issued by KPC said.
“ 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. 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,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, Kashmir Working Journalist Association (KWJA) and Kashmir Journalist Association (KJA) also said that it is outraged by an insinuating report published by the Times of India which according to them uses unsubstantiated allegations to malign and endanger the journalist fraternity of Kashmir and respected institutions like the newly formed Kashmir Press Club, Kashmir Editors Guild, and the daily Kashmir Reader.
“We find it unfortunate that the TOI has given space to such an insinuating report based on its reporter M Salim Pandit’s fantasies and bred out of his personal grouses,” a statement issued here said.
“M Salim Pandit is no stranger to controversies, slander and whimsical allegations mostly based on his personal animosities and fantasies,” the statement added.
“The reporter is taking shelter in unnamed sources to defame fellow journalists and journalistic institutions in Kashmir, branding them as creations and proxies of Pakistan based agencies,” it said.
“The reporter has in the past often brought disgrace to the institution of journalism through his fabricated reports and actions. Ironically the author is trying to create aspersions on Kashmir Press Club even though he had been appointed the president of its first (ad hoc) managing body, with the support of Kashmir Editors Guild. In the recently held Kashmir Press Club elections, the reporter was also actively involved,” the statement claimed.
“His grouses lie in the fact that he was asked to step down by other members after a series of controversies and disgraceful public behaviour on his part. KWJA and KJA condemn the shameful actions of the reporter and the irresponsible behaviour of newspaper in giving space to a baseless report,” the statement said.
KWJA and KJA urge the Kashmir Press Club to initiate an inquiry into the irresponsible behaviour of its member M Salim Pandit with the aim to seek answers from him for his irresponsible behaviour.

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