The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday summoned two journalists for questioning for publishing and circulating a statement of the banned Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, The Indian Express reported. The statement called for a shutdown in the Union Territory on Sunday and Tuesday.
The journalists were Naseer Ahmad Ganie, who works for the Outlook magazine, and Haroon Nabi, who works for local news agency CNS. While Outlook had published the statement, Nabi said that he posted about the strike call on a CNS WhatsApp group.
Sunday, February 9, is the anniversary of the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Tuesday, February 11, is the anniversary of the hanging of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Founder Maqbool Bhat.
Nabi said the police asked him about the source of the WhatsApp message. “I had copied the same [details about the strike] after it was posted by a journalist,” Nabi told the media later. “They asked me about the source and from where I got it.”
Members of the Kashmir Press Club met Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar over the matter on Saturday evening. Later on, the press club issued a statement condemning the summons. “It is definitely harassment,” Kashmir Press Club General Secretary Ishfaq Tantry said. “On and off, journalists have been summoned by the police for their stories.”
However, Kumar told The Indian Express that there had been no harassment. “There was no harassment but a journalist was called for questioning,” he said. “I cannot talk over the phone. If you have interest, you can come to meet me in my office.”
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Police registered a first information report against the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front for calling for a strike, India Today reported.