Srinagar, August 26 (KMS): The pro-India Jammu and Kashmir National Conference has expressed concern over the accentuating curbs on the freedom of vernacular press in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) saying besides silencing voices critical of the administration, the gags have monopolized the flow of information in the territory.
Taking strong exception to the dwindling press freedom in IIOJK, the NC spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said the press fraternity in the territory is at the receiving end due to the executive apathy and intrinsic pressure associated with reporting in a conflict situation.
The curbs and gags, he said, will further hinder the free and fair working of the press fraternity in the region. Choking the voice of an independent media, he maintained, would go a long way in widening the gap between the people and the government. This, he added, could have menacing repercussions on the region that continues to remain fragile in spite of a monopolized flow of information.
Imran Nabi said, the tightening of juggernaut around the media and press fraternity has pushed various local dailies to stop their coverage of various issues of public importance in order to refrain from offending the authorities.
While underscoring the centrality of free press in a democratic set up, the NC spokesperson said it goes without saying how important a role a free press plays in contributing to knowledge of a common person and in calling the attention of citizens towards the irregularities in the working of government. Extolling the role of journalistic fraternity in Kashmir, he said, undue reprisals in one or other form have made it very difficult for the journalists in the territory to carry out their job in a free manner.
“People associated with the press in Kashmir are constantly subjected to reappraisals from different quarters. Despite the troubles they are experiencing, they haven’t lowered their guard in highlighting the woes of people,” Imran Nabi said.
Calling for immediate revocation of charges against journalists in IIOJK, he said it does not behoove a democratic set up to muzzle freedom of speech.