Srinagar, June 15 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, CPI-M leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami while terming India’s new media policy for Jammu and Kashmir as an attempt to throttle freedom of speech and expression has said that the move has spread unease among the journalists working in the territory.

Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami in a statement in Srinagar said, the framers of this policy have given a clear picture that they don’t want journalists answerable to their readers and editors, but to bureaucrats and military officials, who will have the powers to decide which news item is ‘fake, unethical, plagiarized’ or ‘anti-national’.

The policy, he added, has been framed with an aim to give the authorities a free hand to muzzle freedom of press in the occupied territory.

“This is the first time that a government has come up with a policy that authorizes its own officers to decide on what is fake news and proceed against journalists and media organizations,” he said.

“Overtly and covertly media persons have been pressurized in Kashmir for long, but since August 5 last year, attempts to muzzle the freedom of press by the authorities have been on rise.”

“Authorities use a mix of harassment, intimidation, surveillance and online information control to silence critical voices and force journalists to self-censorship,” he said and added that these ideas of democratic governance were very different from what the Constitution of India promises.

He said, the new media policy must be rolled back and the government must immediately stop intimidation of journalists in Jammu and Kashmir. “A free media can help the government take the right actions more effectively than sunshine stories.


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