The sudden locking of the Kashmir Times office in Srinagar by the Estates Department on Oct.19. 2020 has left journalists stunned. The action comes on the heels of the arbitrary eviction of the Kashmir Times Editor Anuradha Bhasin from her residence. The Delhi Union of Journalists condemns these actions of the government that are clearly aimed at stifling the free press.
We note that Kashmir Times journalists were not permitted to take out their computers and other professional equipment before the eviction. Editor Bhasin has said that the eviction happened without due legal process and she will challenge it in court. She has alleged that it is in retaliation to her petition in the Supreme Court against the communications blackout in Kashmir last year when the Internet and other means of communication were shut down. She has also said that government advertisements to the newspaper were stopped after she went to the Supreme Court.
The Delhi Union of Journalists notes with alarm the growing intimidation of the media across the country through various means. We condemn among others the violent attack on veteran journalist Kamal Shukla in Chhattisgarh on Sept.26, 2020 and the arrest on Oct.15,2020 of Ramesh Rath of Odisha Television, We are dismayed at the increasing political nature of such actions and the impunity enjoyed by those who instigate, order or commit attacks.