The Editors Guild of India on Monday, 8 March, expressed shock in the way editors of Kashmir-based publications are routinely being detained, for their reporting or editorials.
Referring to the case of The Kashmir Walla’s Editor-in-Chief Fahad Shah, who was recently detained and later released, the body said, "This was the third time that Shah was detained for his writings. His is not the only case. There are scores of journalists who are experiencing this new normal where they can be hauled up by security forces for writing anything that goes contrary to the government narrative that peace has returned to the Valley.”
Shah and Assistant Editor Yashraj Sharma had an FIR registered on them by the Indian Army on 30 January for a report published on 27 January. The report was on how security personnel allegedly forced a school in Shopian district to hold an event marking Republic Day.
In an interview given to VICE News in October, 2020, Fahad Shah had narrated the ordeal of journalists working in the charged environment of Kashmir:
“There is a shadow under which Kashmiri journalists are working. It is made up of the pressure from the authorities, and threats from local public who do not see eye-to-eye with journalists or the press. It has threats from the militants.”
The guild, in its statement, demanded that "the state administration creates circumstances where press can report on news and express opinion without any fear or favour."
(With inputs from Scroll.in and VICE News)