‘No journalist harassed since 2017 in Kashmir,’ Govt responds to PCI report

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Information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur on Thursday told the Parliament that the Centre has not imposed curbs on any news media in Jammu and Kashmir, reported Hindustan Times.

Thakur made the disclosure while responding to a question posed by Trinamool Congress MP Abir Ranjan Biswas in Rajya Sabha.

The West Bengal lawmaker sought to know whether the government is aware of the recently-released Press Council of India’s fact-finding committee (FFC) report on news media in Jammu and Kashmir.

Last month, the committee reportedly found that “news media in the Jammu and Kashmir region, especially in the Valley, is slowly being choked mainly because of the extensive curbs imposed by the local administration”.

The Press Council of India constituted the committee in September 2021 to study the state of media in J-K. The committee submitted its report on March 8.

On being asked about the number of journalists from Jammu and Kashmir who have reported harassment by the authorities since 2017, Thakur informed, “The ministry of home affairs has informed that there have been no instances of any harassment to the media persons by the authorities since 2017.”

He added that law enforcement agencies, however, take action against any person, without any discrimination of profession or otherwise, who is found to be involved in any activity that poses threat to the security and sovereignty of the country.

The FFC report also stated that there is a long list of journalists who have been individually harassed. “The object is to create fear and intimidation to fall in with the government line,” the report claimed.

Thakur denied the findings that said public relations work in many government offices has been taken over by the police.

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