Kashmir: Senior journos from AFP, Reuters barred from covering R-Day

SRINAGAR: The security wing of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday allegedly barred several senior journalists from covering the main Republic Day event despite possessing valid accreditation passes.

About five senior video and photo-journalists, were not allowed to enter the venue for covering the event held at Sher-i-Kashmir Cricket stadium, Srinagar. They’ve been identified as Danish Ismail of Reuters, Tauseef Mustafa of Agence France Press (AFP), Habib Naqash of Greater Kashmir, Aman Farooq of Greater Kashmir and Mehrajuddin of APTN.

Tauseef Mustafa speaking to the media told he’s been covering such functions since the time of former PM HD Deve Gowda. “This is for the first time in 28 years of my professional career that I was not allowed to cover any event,” Touseef said.

Danish Ismail who has been associated with Reuters since 2003, says, “I covered the R-Day rehearsal function with the same pass and at the same venue. Those pictures are on the Reuters website. If I had security clearance to enter the venue two days ago, what made them stop me today?”, reported NewsLaudry.

The move triggered widespread criticism and the fellow scribes and photojournalists subsequently boycotted the function. They also carried out a protest march from Kashmir Press Club to Ghanta Ghar in Lalchowk with the placards that read: “Journalism is not a crime. Blacklist us all. You can’t muzzle our voice”.

The incident comes at a time when assaults against them are increasing in the Kashmir.