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IJU Condemns Arrest of Kashmir Editor

New Delhi /Hyderabad, June 26 (PMI): The Indian Journalists Union strongly condemns the arrest of editor Afaaq Ghulam Jeelani Qadri by the police in Srinagar following a late night raid on his premises on Monday. It termed the arrest as crass misuse of law and harassment of a reputed veteran journalist, which must be viewed as yet another attempt to muzzle the freedom of press in Kashmir.
Qadri fortunately got bail in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate as the police was unable to furnish any details of the case, which apparently dates back to 1990 against eight journalists and editors. Importantly, the court also directed the police to explain its action, i.e. how it investigated the case in the past three decades before finally swooping on Qadri residence in the dead of night.
Welcoming the court action, IJU President and Member, Press Council of India, D Amar and IJU Secretary General and IFJ Vice President Sabina Inderjit said the action by the police negated the rule of law in the State, now under Governor’s rule and demanded that an apology be tendered, as not only has Qadri spent over 35 years in public life, but that the same police station verified and attested his antecedents for issuance of passport twice in past 30 years.
The IJU also noted that though Qadri, an editor for past two decades, is unaware of why he was declared a proclaimed offender, he would have willingly appeared before the police station or the court had he been informed, rather than arresting him in the dead of night. Agreeing with the Kashmir Editors Guild contention of how Qadri could be a ‘proclaimed offender’ if he is available in his office in the heart of Srinagar for over 15 hours daily, the IJU demanded that the J&K administration refrain from unnecessarily hounding journalists and commit to upholding the independence of the media in the State. (PMI)

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