The National Conference (NC) on Monday termed the findings of a Press Council of India committee on press freedom in Kashmir a “telling indictment” of the authorities' treatment of press in the region.
NC chief spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq said the report of the fact finding committee (FFC) lays bare how news media in the Jammu and Kashmir region, especially in the valley, was “slowly being choked”, through extensive curbs imposed by the local administration.
“We have been registering our concern over the rising curbs on the freedom of press in Kashmir for all these years. The FCC's findings have exposed the J-K administration's handling of the press.
“Silencing voices critical of the administration describes the new normal in J-K, particularly the valley. The gags have monopolized the flow of information in J-K,” he said.
Sadiq said curbs on press have pushed various local dailies to stop their coverage of various issues of public importance under the fear of offending the authorities.
“The press fraternity in Kashmir is at the receiving end due to the executive apathy and intrinsic pressure associated with reporting in a conflict situation. It is indeed a tightrope walk for our journalist friends,” he said.
The party leader praised the findings and hoped they will let “liberal and democratic forces” in the country know about ground reality in Kashmir.
The spokesperson also urged the PCI to mount pressure on the government to release all confined journalists.