Editor of Kashmir-based magazine ‘The Kashmir Walla’, Fahad Shah was summoned by the Srinagar Cyber Police Station on Wednesday, 20 May, allegedly in connection with a report on the gunfight between militants and security forces on Tuesday.
Shah and his colleague had reported on the destruction of several houses at the sight of the encounter in Srinagar’s Nawakadal locality where two militants were killed, including Junaid Sehrai, son of a top Hurriyat leader. In their report, many people had accused the security forces of looting jewellery and items of worth from the burnt houses.
Shah said, “I was at the police station for four hours. In the first two hours, the reason for summoning me was not conveyed. Then, I was taken to a different room where five senior police officials were seated. They initially quizzed me on my educational background and career, about my social media posts and some of the other publications I work with, apart from The Kashmir Walla.”
Raising objection to our coverage of the gunfight on Wednesday, officials accused me of “maligning the police’s reputation”.Fahad Shah, Editor of The Kashmir Walla
In a statement, Shah said, “ My response to their objection was that the report were interviews of local residents, on camera, whose houses had been burned. If the police differed with the allegations of the local residents, we would have given equal space to the same in our report as a professional journalist. However, no such clarification was given.”
Shah told The Quint, “When I was finally allowed to leave around 6 PM, the police said they can call me back for any other clarification they need.”
This comes on the heels when Jammu and Kashmir police has been under the scanner for trying to suppress freedom of the press by invoking stringent laws against journalists.
The Quint reached out to Srinagar SSP, Haseeb Mughal, who said, “I am not aware of the matter. I will check it.”