The Editors Guild of India on Monday condemned the way some journalists were stopped from entering the Sher-i-Kashmir stadium in Srinagar during the Republic Day function, calling it “shocking” and a “state-sponsored” attack on press freedom.
“The Editors Guild condemns the arbitrary manner in which several senior journalists of Jammu and Kashmir were denied entry into the stadium in Srinagar to cover the Republic Day function on January 26.
“It is shocking that many of them were stopped from entering the stadium to perform their professional duty in spite of their possessing entry passes issued by the state government’s Information Department,” it said in a statement.
The Guild demanded an inquiry into the incident and termed the lapse “an unprecedented state-sponsored attack on press freedom”.
“It (Guild) also seeks an assurance from the government that such reprehensible acts would not be repeated. If necessary, a fool-proof and non-discriminatory system of issuing entry passes to journalists to help them perform their professional duty in high-security areas must be introduced at the earliest,” the statement read.
The incident was decried by many journalists in Srinagar who took to the streets later carrying placards that read “Journalism is not a crime”.