The journalists Saturday staged a protest rally after senior journalists were barred by police from covering January 26 function at the Sher-i-Kashmir (SK) cricket stadium in Srinagar.
The police officials at the main gate of SK cricket stadium did not allow some journalists to enter the venue despite them having security passes issued by Information Department.
As a mark of protest, the journalists boycotted the January 26 function and took out a protest march.
The protesting journalists were carrying posters with messages, “Journalism is not a crime”, “Stop attacks on Journalists”, “You can’t muzzle our voice”, “Stop labeling Journalists”, “Protect right to report” and “Protect freedom of expression”.
The protesting journalists marched from Kashmir Press Club (KPC) to GhantaGhar (Clock Tower) LalChowk, where they staged a protest demonstration.
A journalist said senior journalists including Meraj-ud-Din of APTN, HabibNaqash of Greater Kashmir, Bilal Butt (ANI),Tauseef Mustafa (AFP), UmerMeraj (APTN), Danish Ismail (Reuters),YousufJameel, Ashraf Wani and FirdousWani were denied security passes.
KPC President, Shuja-ul-Haq said authorities barred senior journalists from entering the January 26 venue following their ‘adverse’ verification reports.
“We want to question authorities on what basis they were barred from entering the venue. It was not their first assignment. They have been covering these events for years,” he said.
Shujasaid despite having passes issued by Information Department, the police prepared a list of journalists, who were denied entry.
“We are going to submit a memorandum to Divisional Commissioner to prevent repeat of such incidents in future,” he said.
The KPC chairman said media fraternity was upset over attacks on Journalists.
“Pellets are being fired on us. Our vehicles are being smashed and journalists are being barred for covering their daily assignments. These things should be stopped forthwith,” he said.
Haq said the government should not harass journalists. “Instead it should provide them conducive atmosphere for carrying out their professional duties”.