Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Member Parliament Mir Mohammad Fayaz on Thursday wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah urged him to issue directions for dropping of charges against journalists in Kashmir.
In the letter, PDP’s Rajya Sabha member Mir Mohammed Fayaz said wrote to Home minister Amit Shah, “I hope this letter finds you in good spirits and health. As you rightly are aware the difficult terrain in which journalists in Kashmir operate, the impediments and challenges they manoeuver to keep public enlightened by highlighting deficits of governance and raising awareness about various social plights engulfing the society.”
“The problems though have only compounded over a period of time yet journalists continue to prove their resolve by upholding the finest standards of journalism, not shying away from amplifying the message and standing shoulder to shoulder with administration whether during 2005 earthquake, 2014 floods or the present COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.
“India takes pride in calling itself world’s largest democracy and as your esteemed self will also agree Democracies thrive and flourish when provided free ecosystem so that journalists can carry out their job without fear or favour. Differing views only strength the conversation and nudges us to take remedial measures,” it added.
“As is true for the rest of the country in Kashmir too, journalists like Shujaat Bukhari and Mushtaq Ali among others preferred to lay down their lives rather than compromise on ideals of truth and justice,” reads the letter.
He said that impeding the work of the fourth estate is riddled with upsetting the order of democracy. Administration especially J&K Police should’ve been able to discern the fact that putting journalism and cybercrime on the same pedestal is a disservice to the constitution and an attack on freedom of expression.
“Harassing and intimidating journalists especially during this pandemic has unfortunately sullied the image of J&K Police which otherwise has had a tremendous contribution towards establishing peace in J&K,” said Mir, while requesting the Home Minister to direct revocation of charges against journalists.
“It is therefore incumbent on my part to solicit your intervention in this urgent matter so that directions regarding dropping of all charges against journalists: Masrat Zehra, Peerzada Ashiq and Gowhar Geelani are issued at the earliest,” he wrote.