The Editors' Guild, Press Club of India and Indian Women Press Corps on Tuesday decried the Press Council of India's unilateral decision to oppose the plea filed in the Supreme Court by Kashmir Times editor Anuradha Bhasin seeking the lifting of restrictions on media in Jammu and Kashmir.
The journalists' bodies held a meeting at the Press Club in New Delhi and said that the PCI had jumped its mandate. They demanded immediate lifting of ban on media freedom in Jammu and Kashmir and allowing the media to report freely from the state.
Addressing the meet, senior journalist and former editor of Rajya Sabha TV Urmilesh said that the mainstream media is spreading lies in the name of reporting. He said “intermediatory petition” will be regarded as “black spot” on the face of Press Council of India (PCI).
Saying that PCI’s job is to ensure quality journalism, not filing petitions, Urmilesh added, “Mainstream media tells you that the Article 370 of the Constitution was a temporary one, but they do not tell you the reason. Article 370 was accorded temporary provision because it had to be approved by then Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly”.
Political editor of the investigative magazine ‘The Caravan’, Hartosh Singh Bal said that Indian media is “distorting” and “misrepresenting” facts about Kashmir.
Organiser of the meeting Jai Shankar Gupta said that the purpose of the meeting is to not oppose the government but to discuss the situation of media and to put pressure on the statutory body (that is, PCI) to withdraw the petition.