In the wake of reports that some journalists covering protests were thrashed by security personnel in Srinagar, Press Council Chairman Justice (retd) Markandey Katju today wrote to Chief Minister Omar Adbullah enquiring about the steps being taken to ensure that the media can work effectively in Jammu and Kashmir.
It has been reported that "some journalists were beaten up by CRPF personnel in J&K while covering protests in Srinagar recently. It is also reported that photojournalists and a video journalist were hospitalized," Katju wrote in his letter to the Chief Minister.
"It is reported that Umer Mehraj, working as a video journalist for Associated Press Television News (APTN) and Yawar Kabli and Showkat Shafi, both freelance photojournalists, were taken to SKIMS Hospital, after being beaten up by CRPF personnel," he wrote in his letter.
Katju said if the reports were true, the incident was "serious" and demanded that he be apprised of steps the state government was taking to ensure that journalists could do their job effectively.
"If these reports are true it is a serious matter affecting the freedom of the media guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution," Katju said in the letter.
"Please immediately give me your comments on these reports and also what steps you have taken so that the media is able to discharge its duties effectively," Katju said in his letter.
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