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J&K Police Registers Case After Journalists Receive Threat

Anees Zargar |
Threat issued along with list of names of journalists working with prominent local newspapers in Srinagar; three journalists named have
resigned so far.
jk police

Representational Image. Image Courtesy: PTI

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police have registered a case against The Resistance Front (TRF), an offshoot of the Lashkar e Toiba (LeT) after they allegedly issued threats to a group of journalists in the region.

The threat has been issued along with the list of names of journalists, many of whom are working with prominent local newspapers
in Srinagar. The statement, which could not be verified independently, was circulated by unverified users on social media networks including Twitter triggering panic amongst the media fraternity in the region.

In a tweet, the Srinagar police said that a case FIR no 82/2022 has been registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act at Shergari police station including sections 13 UAPA, 505, 153 B, 124 A and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.

“Case registered against handlers, active terrorists and Over Ground Workers of terror outfit LeT and its offshoot TRF for online
publication and dissemination of a direct threat letter to Journalists and reporters based in Kashmir,” the police tweeted.

A top police official from Jammu and Kashmir police, however, told NewsClick that journalists should not be worried and that the media fraternity will be protected from such threats under all circumstances.

“It is a vicious name and shame campaign launched against reporters. We do not even know all of them and they are falsely being accused of working for us. It is completely baseless and seems as if there is some personal rivalry which has led to these threats. We will make sure that nothing happens to them,” the police official said.

The statement – titled ‘charge sheet’ -- has accused journalists of allegedly working at the behest of J&K police and Army and has been issued under the infamous “Kashmir fight” label that has targeted journalists in the past as well. The fresh warning has renewed fears amongst journalists, many of whom said, are already reeling under the emerging situation.

Three journalists have resigned from their positions so far after their names appeared on the list.

“Even though it is nothing new but it is clearly an attempt to silence reporters like us working under immense pressure. There is hostility against journalists, especially in conflict regions and such campaigns have taken people’s lives as well. Others have lost jobs,” a journalist told NewsClick wishing anonymity.

Pertinently, international media rights groups and watchdogs have often termed reporting in Kashmir as “dangerous” stating that the work for journalists here is full of risks to their life and security.

In 2018, Shujaat Bukhari, a prominent journalist and editor of the daily local Rising Kashmir was shot dead by unknown gunmen, believed to be from LeT, outside his office in Srinagar’s Press Enclave. His two police bodyguards were also killed in the attack that sent a shockwave across the region. Three journalists who have been named on the list have resigned so far.

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