Five Kashmiri journalists working with local publications, including the Rising Kashmir newspaper, resigned on Tuesday after a militant organisation put out a list of over a dozen mediapersons, accusing them of being informers of security forces.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police said it suspected The Resistance Front, a group associated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba, to be behind the threats. The message was circulated in the form of posters on messaging platforms Telegram and WhatsApp.
The Srinagar Police have registered a first information report against The Resistance Front under provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, according The Times of India. The threat message has also been published in a blacklisted blog “kashmirfight.com”, the police told the newspaper.
The blog, allegedly being operated from from Pakistan, runs smear campaigns against various journalists and activists based in Kashmir, according to the police.
“The content of the post [containing the list] clearly depicts the intention of terrorists and anti-national elements,” an unidentified police officer said, according to NDTV. “They have put the life of people, especially mediapersons, in danger by publicly calling them corrupt and giving direct threat to their lives.”
A journalist, who was among those who resigned, told the television channel that he had been accused of propagating the narrative of the Army.
“I have been reporting about civic issues, water, drains, and transport,” he said. “I have never reported anything on the army or covered any army function so far. Yet they have branded me as an Army informer.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party said that such threats against journalists were unacceptable.
“Terrorists have touched new lows, which is against people and against the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression,” RS Pathania, a spokesperson of the party said.