The Jammu and Kashmir police Saturday barred six senior journalists from covering the main Republic Day function at Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium in summer capital Srinagar after “adverse” CID reports, a media report said.
“The CID report in respect of below mentioned persons belonging to Media group have been found adverse and you are directed not to permit them inside the venue as their media cards for Republic Day 2019 treated as cancel,” The Indian Express reported quoting a signed letter by the Additional Superintendent of Police, Security, Kashmir.
The Security Wing of the J&K Police citing CID reports on these journalists as “adverse”, the police said.
The letter named Mehraj-ud-Din and Umar Mehraj, Bureau Chief and video journalist respectively of Associated Press Television (APTN), AFP photojournalist Tawseef Mustafa, ANI Bureau Chief Bilal Ahmad Bhat, Reuters photojournalist Danish Ismail Wani, and Daily Kashmir Uzma photojournalist Aaman Farooq, the report said.
All six journalists are accredited with the Information Department of the J&K government. Soon after these journalists were denied entry to the venue, all journalists boycotted the Republic Day function. In the afternoon, journalists took out a rally in Srinagar to protest against the police action.
Additional Director General of Police, Security and Law & Order, Muneer Khan told The Sunday Express: “Once this matter was brought to my notice, I sought a detailed report from SSP Security.”
A senior official of the J&K Police’s Security wing, however, said they had acted only because the CID gave an adverse report against these journalists.
“The verification process is conducted by the CID and once they give an adverse report against anybody, we can’t allow them to go inside the venue for security reasons,” the official said.
The six journalists expressed shock at the way they had been treated.