A group of civil societies , the International Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice [IPTK]active in Kashmir and the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons [APDP] has accused Indian and ‘some segments of local media of being ‘culpable’ for ‘boycotting’ the recent report on human rights violations released recently in Kashmir.
“The media cannot allow itself to be subservient to the diktats of the state. By following the real or perceived preferences/orders of the state, the media itself stands culpable. The dismal or unprofessional role of the Indian media so far has only endorsed the crimes,” reads the statement released by civil society groups.
IPTK and APDP released its report titled alleged Perpetrators: Stories of Impunity in Jammu and Kashmir that examines 214 cases of human rights violations and for the first time, the role of 500 alleged perpetrators in these crimes.
“Following the release of the alleged Perpetrators report, the reaction of the media raises worrying issues that need to be critically questioned. While the international media carried out extensive reporting of the issues raised, the reporting of the Indian media and some segments of the Jammu and Kashmir media was extremely disappointing. It is clear that in the Indian media particularly, and some segments of the Jammu and Kashmir media, there was a near complete black out of this report,” reads the statement.
It further reads, “Beyond the reaction to this specific report, it is clear that there has been a worrying long-standing trend, exhibited by biased reporting or non-reporting, of human rights work that indicts the Indian State and its functionaries in Jammu and Kashmir,” feels the civil societies and adds that the response for the report on unmarked and unidentified graves in Jammu and Kashmir in 2009, from Indian media was also disappointing. “It appears that the responsibility for this lies essentially with the editorial management, and possibly less with the actual reporters on ground.”
The civil society groups further appeal to the media that they are important part of any struggle against impunity, human rights violations and the misuse of state power. “It is also important for the media to inform the public about the real circumstances that are often manipulated by certain sections of the media, resulting in the diversion of their tax money from more pressing social necessities towards unnecessary expenditure,” reads the statement.