NEW DELHI, Sep 23 (Asia Free Press): Indian authorities have imposed a ban on Kashmiri journalists and human rights activists to travel abroad, local media reported.
The Hindu-nationalists BJP government has barred several journalists on airports since August 5, 2019 when New Delhi unilaterally scrapped the special status of the disputed Kashmir valley.
The authorities have placed restrictions on scores of journalists; mostly working with international media outlets in an Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, to prevent them from travelling abroad, Kashmir Media Service reported.
Citied the Indian web news portal, The Wire, reported that the restrictions have been imposed on 22 journalists among 43 other personalities to keep the outside world unaware of Indian war crimes in the held valley.
“These journalists, human rights activists and academicians are critical of the Modi regime’s inhuman treatment of the Kashmiri people,” said the report.
“Most of these journalists are working for in-ternational organisations. And there is a fear that allowing them to travel abroad can dent the image of the Union government in international media,” its added.
The report further said that apart from journalist, the profiling of human rights activists, civil society, lawyers, academician is carried out by various sections of Indian police, created for the purpose .
Journalists in the region say that summoning journalists to police stations have become a new normal. While the authorities also banned the journalists from independent reporting of violence from the disputed valley.
The Srinagar-based Kashmir Press Club, a representative body of Kashmir journalists and media, has recently issued several statements highlighting the harassment of media workers in the region.
Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965, and 1971 — two of them over Kashmir.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.