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UAPA charge on J&K journalist is misuse of power, effort to terrorise media: Editors Guild

Editors Guild of India has criticised the FIRs filed against J&K journalists Masrat Zahra and Peerzada Ashiq, and demanded they be withdrawn.

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New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India Tuesday expressed “shock and concern” about police action against Kashmiri journalists Masrat Zahra and Peerzada Ashiq.

While Zahra, an independent photojournalist, has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for social media posts deemed “anti-national”, Ashiq, a veteran reporter working with The Hindu has been booked for a news item that was eventually proved inaccurate. 

The Editors Guild has described the police’s decision to invoke the UAPA, an anti-terrorism law, against Zahra as a “gross misuse of power”, saying it is “an indirect way of intimidating journalists in the rest of the country as well”. The grievance against Ashiq, it added, could have been taken up with his editor. 

Also Read: Editors Guild says deeply perturbed at govt move against media, calls SC advice ‘gratuitous’

Read the full Editors Guild of India statement below: 

“The Editors Guild of India has noted with shock and concern the high-handed manner in which the law enforcement agencies in Jammu & Kashmir have used the prevailing laws to deal with two Srinagar-based journalists, Masrat Zahra, a young freelance photographer, and Peerzada Ashiq, a reporter working for The Hindu. While only an FIR has been filed in connection with a report filed by Peerzada Ashiq, the authorities in the union territory have used the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act against Masrat Zahra.

Any recourse to such laws for merely publishing something in the mainstream or social media is a gross misuse of power. Its only purpose can be to strike terror into journalists. The Guild also believes that this is an indirect way of intimidating journalists in the rest of the country as well.

The journalists should be put to no harm or further harassment. If the government has any grievance against their reporting, there are other ways of dealing with such issues in the normal course. Mere social media posts of factual pictures can’t attract the toughest anti-terror laws passed for hardened terrorists. And in the case of The Hindu reporter, the correct course was to escalate the complaint to the newspaper’s editor.

The Guild demands that the Union Territory administration of Jammu & Kashmir withdraw the charges forthwith.” 

Also Read: Editors Guild slams BJP’s Amit Malviya for ‘McCarthyist’ Twitter poll on Rajdeep Sardesai


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  1. Editors Guild is also on the path of Tukde-Tukde gang. Members and the office bearers of guild are only issuing statements from Delhi in favour of anti national elemenents who are posing as mouth piece of terrorists outfits.

  2. Those who think ABROGATION OF ARTICLE 370 AND 35 A , and so on , will be a bold steps are living in fools paradise & dillusional.
    The people of J&K(which is actually J&K) are so marginalized, harassed in last couple of year that never happened in history of 70 years. So it will lead to strengthen secessionist movement more strongly.
    Militant groups are happy with indian govts action(the current govt. Imprissioned all jammu & kashmir on 5th Aug. Imposed dig انکیtal curfew, even pro-BJP allies ex. CMs house arrested) which made their(millatants) stance more strong than ever.
    We are not living in medivial age, remember by force you can’t win heart in this digital age!

  3. There was a free run for Anti national journalists in India including Kashmir for the last 30 years. The print is also a part of that liberal,leftist,anti Hindu as well as anti national qabal .So many India supporter voice in the valley has been silenced under the cover of these antinationals . Now the time of honeymoon between the govt and anti national has over. Now They will have to face the consequences of their misdeeds.

  4. Morons runs editor guild.. they belives themselves judges…people laugh and jokes the way they behave

  5. Media should not be against value of India as biased way by spreading terror in name of hatred article and fake selective message

  6. Congress would have done nothing and did nothing for 60+ years? Shekar Gupta and his team are All paid Congress backers.Congress did not have the balls to get rid of special status Article 370 & 35 and played tune’s of terrorists in Kashmir valley.

    • You need to go through history again , little knowledge is always dangerous .
      NRC , CAA , ABROGATION OF ARTICLE 370 AND 35 A , and so on , all these illogical steps will be taken by illiterate only , that is why such steps had been taken by BGP not by Congress.

      • First of all tell me why CAA and NRC are not important? Why we should bear Rohingyaas and those who are living illegely.

  7. For long Big Media has turned into foot soldier’s of Jihad in the Kashmir valley. Journalist must not get a free run to peddle any truth and must be ready for public scrutiny, to truthfully answer questions and not just ask them.

  8. Ler the charges be there… media can’t threaten with incorrect messages as that threatens the society.. media cannot absolve from their responsibilities..

  9. Why does Editors Guild never comment on fake news articles day in and day out which some journos get away with . They should try that out someday. And do us a favor. Do not cherry pick who fakes it . They all do and the guild knows it. They are responsible for the fast degradation of journalistic ethics in India which is a very sorry state of affairs.

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