Harassment of journalists in IOK denounced
Srinagar, April 24 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, clashes erupted in Pulwama town after Indian police subjected local residents to brute force, today.
People took to the streets after the police raided a Jamia Masjid and resorted to vandalism. Indian police and troops fired teargas shells to disperse the protesters, leading to intense clashes between the demonstrators and the forces’ personnel. Several people received injuries during the clashes. Many youth were arrested and public property was damaged indifferent areas of the town by the occupational forces.
The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front in its Central Executive Committee meeting held via video link reaffirmed the Kashmiris’ resolve to continue the ongoing liberation movement nourished by the sacred blood of martyrs to its logical conclusion at all costs. It also paid glowing tributes to the resolve of the illegally detained Hurriyat leaders and activists including party Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik. The meeting was presided over by Acting Chairman, Abdul Hameed Butt.
Kashmir Journalists Association in a statement issued in Srinagar strongly condemned the harassment of media persons by Indian police and expressed serious concern over the series of FIRs filed against three journalists, Peerzada Ashiq, Masarrat Zahra and Gowhar Geelani. Peerzada Ashiq in a tweet said that he would not compromise with basic premise of journalist – speaking truth to power and sticking to facts. He said that holding a mirror was more than ever needed to reflect ground realities from occupied Kashmir. The High Court has reserved its order on a plea by journalist Gowhar Geelani challenging invoking of draconian law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against him.
On the other hand, Paris-based media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders or Reporters Sans Frontières in a statement posted on its website condemned a campaign of harassment of journalists in occupied Kashmir, where the police have brought criminal accusations against three journalists. The RSF said that these accusations were designed to intimidate all journalists in Srinagar and must be withdrawn at once. The head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, Daniel Bastard, said that the almost simultaneous opening of three investigations reflected a deliberate desire by the Indian police to not just harass the three journalists targeted by the complaints but also to thereby intimidate all reporters trying to work freely in Kashmir. He demanded immediate withdrawal of these complaints, which have no credible legal basis.
The Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League Vice Chairman, Syed Aijaz Rehmani, in a statement in Islamabad paid glowing tributes to the Kashmiri youth recently martyred by Indian troops in Shopian district.
Speakers at a conference on the human rights situation in occupied Kashmir called upon the Narendra Modi government to halt all military operations against the political activists and release Kashmiri leaders immediately. The moot was organised through video link by Tehreek-e-Kashmir UK and addressed by Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan, Shadow Minister Afzal Khan MP, Lord Nazir Ahmed, Lord Qurban Hussain, Hurriyat leader Altaf Ahmed Butt, Shaista Safi and TeK President, Raja Fahim Kayani. They said international charity organisations and other global non-governmental organisations must be given access to deliver food and medicines in occupied Kashmir where coronavirus outbreak has doubled the miseries of Kashmiris.