Srinagar, Apr 23: Two days after police filed an FIR against him for allegedly publishing ‘fake news’ regarding an encounter and subsequent development, a Kashmir-based journalist Peerzada Ashiq said that he will not compromise with the basic premise of journalists -- speaking truth to power and sticking to facts.
Mr Ashiq, who is a journalist for ‘The Hindu’, said holding a mirror is more than ever needed to reflect ground realities from Kashmir. The senior journalist also thanked people for supporting him and the other two media persons, who have also been booked by police.
“Thanks for your support. I am a responsible journalist, will not compromise with the basic premise of journalism: speaking truth to power, sticking to facts. Holding a mirror is more than ever needed to reflect ground realities from Kashmir. Stand by Gowhar, Masrat #Journalismisnotacrime#,” Mr Ashiq wrote on micro-blogging site twitter.
Mr Ashiq was on Monday booked for allegedly publishing ‘fake news’ regarding an encounter and subsequent development in south Kashmir district of Shopian. On Sunday, he was summoned by the police in two different districts of Kashmir within a span of six hours to explain his position on the story.
Two other media persons, including a woman photo-journalist, were also booked by police during the last couple of days. Police on Tuesday booked a journalist, Gowher Geelani, in Kashmir valley for allegedly indulging in unlawful activities though his posts on social media.
On Monday, a Kashmir-based young woman photojournalist, Masrat Zahar, was booked for uploading alleged ‘anti-national posts with criminal intention to induce the youth and to promote offences against public tranquility’ on Facebook.
The action by the police has drawn sever criticism by different sections of society, including politicians, media fraternity and common people. Soon after the FIRs, hashtags #IStandWithMasratZahra, #IStandWithPeerzadaAshiq, #IStandWithGowharGeelani started trending on Twitter.
Meanwhile, expressing concern, all political parties, including National Conference NC, PDP, JKAP, CPI (M) and PC have demanded withdrawal of cases against the journalists. Kashmir Press Club has also sought withdrawal of the cases and urged authorities to stop alleged harassment of media fraternity in the valley.(UNI)