New media policy direct assault on press: PDP

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday demanded immediate rollback of new media policy in J&K, terming it a “direct assault on the free press and akin to choking the voices of dissent.”

In a statement, the party spokesperson Suhail Bukhari termed the policy a step towards “demolishing the democratic institutions, militating against journalists, and killing free voices with absolute immunity.”

Bukhari said J&K was subtly treading towards an era wherein anarchy would rule the roost and dissent will become thing of the past.

He said that by bringing in the new media policy, the government was actually implementing yet another element of the agenda it embarked on August 5 last year to disenfranchise and disempowering the people of J&K.

“This media policy should not be viewed in isolation. It is very much inseparable part of the game plan which will bulldoze the institutions of justice and fair-play sans any compunction,” said Bukhari. The party’s Youth Secretary, Arif Laigroo also demanded roll back of the new media policy.

He said the policy was a move to “choke” the media in Kashmir. “Basically, the government wants to keep the happening in the trouble-torn region under wraps,” Laigroo said.

Laigroo said the policy was “anti-democracy” and assault on freedom of press. He said people have a right to know and journalist have right to report the facts. “This policy restraints media fraternity from reporting the facts,” he said.

He also raised concerns about the conditions of journalists and urged the government to end restrictions and harassment of journalists.