Tue. Sep 17th, 2019

Kashmir journalists hold sit-in to demand release of Aasif Sultan

Srinagar : Kashmir journalists’ fraternity on Monday held a sit-in at Press Enclave in Srinagar against the continued detention of journalist Aasif Sultan while demanding his immediate release.
Sultan, an assistant editor at a news magazine, was arrested from his home in Batmaloo area of the city two weeks ago. The protest was organized by Kashmir Journalists Association (KJA).
The journalist body said Sultan’s arrest is aimed at ‘intimidating journalists in Kashmir who are already working under tremendous pressure.’
Members of Kashmir Journalist Corp, Kashmir Working Journalists Association (KWJA), Kashmir Press Photographers Association (KPPA) and Kashmir Video Journalist Association participated in the protest.
KJA also appealed to the governor Satya Pal Malik and DGP Dilbagh Singh to intervene in the matter and order highest probe into the arrest of Sultan and set him free.
“We demand the officers concerned be held responsible and action be taken against them for arresting a journalist,” KJA spokesperson said.
“KJA believes that media plays an important role to strength democratic and constitutional values. However, when the press freedom is choked and journalists are harassed situation becomes dangerous to live. It may affect the basic freedom of speech,” he said.
The journalists’ body also appealed to international journalist bodies and human right forums to take up the issue strongly with the local authorities.
KJA also appealed to the Press Council of India to push for the release of Sultan.
“They have made a simple journalistic piece (news article) as basis for the case which is totally uncalled for and against the ethics,” said a statement issued by the KJA
In a video clipping, which went viral on the internet, Verma, while speaking to reporters in Bahraich on Saturday had said, “BJP came to power on the issue of development, but (Ram) temple is a matter of faith for us. The temple will be built. We are committed to building the (Ram) temple”.
When it was pointed out that the matter was pending in the Supreme Court, Verma, who is an MLA from Kaiserganj, said, “Supreme Court mein hai tabhi to… Supreme Court bhi hamara hi hai na. Supreme Court bhi hamara hi hai, nyay palika bhi, woh karya palika bhi hamari hai, vidhan palika bhi hamaari hai (Supreme Court is also ours. After all the Supreme Court is ours, judiciary, executive are ours and the legislature is also ours)”. Verma, however, sought to clarify his comments.

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