Police in Occupied Kashmir have ordered journalists to refrain from direct coverage of protests against India’s oppressive government and protesters in the region as it would be considered tantamount to interfering in their duties.
According to Reuters news agency, India had abolished its constitutional sovereignty in 2019 to further strengthen its grip on occupied Kashmir, after which a heavy contingent of police and army were deployed to maintain law and order.
India had deployed thousands of police and troops to restore peace in the occupied territories after the region’s constitutional sovereignty was annulled in 2019 to further strengthen its grip on the region.
In an order issued this week, the police chief of Occupied Kashmir issued new instructions for those covering protests and demonstrations in the valley, as well as various police operations.
Police Chief Vijay Kumar said that no material would be allowed to be aired or broadcast that would incite violence, disrupt law and order or incite hostile sentiments.
He added that the media was advised to stay away from police encounters in the valley or any situation that would pose a challenge to law and order and not cover such things directly.
Vijay Kumar said that freedom of expression of journalists is subject to certain restrictions so that the lives of others are not endangered and there is no compromise on national security.
He categorically warned journalists not to interfere in the professional responsibility of the police and security forces at the scene of police encounters.
According to official figures, the conflict, which began in 1989, has so far killed more than 50,000 people, while human rights groups say the death toll has doubled.
In the past, police have alleged that the presence of television cameras and journalists at police encounters in Occupied Kashmir often encourages people to take to the streets and take the law into their own hands.
But journalists protested the directive, saying the new rules were intended to force them not to report.
The Kashmir Press Club said in a statement that freedom of the press is the foundation of democracy and any attack on it harms the democratic system.
“Such an attack on the freedom of the press and journalism is extremely painful,” he said.