A fact-finding committee of the Press Council of India has stated that the business of news media has been "severely disrupted" in Jammu and Kashmir and that journalists are "constantly facing pressure both from government agencies and police as well as militants", the New Indian Express .
The three-member committee had visited the union territory last year and then prepared a report based on its findings. The committee comprised Prakash Dubey of Dainik Bhaskar, Gurbir Singh of New Indian Express, and Suman Gupta of Jan Morcha.
The committee said J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha had said that "many journalists were of 'anti-national' persuasion". The report said, "He conceded that when he was first appointed, he used to encourage open press conferences, but now had gone back to a ‘selective engagement’ with preferred journalists."
The committee a "long list of journalists who have been individually harassed" in order to "create a fear and intimidation to fall in with the government line".
, the report noted a "deliberate hobbling" of communication networks after the abrogation of Article 370, according to journalists interviewed, and described it as an "extreme measure which muzzled the normal functioning of the news media".
Since March 2020, journalists in J&K were also no longer issued accreditation cards, the Wire noted, despite these cards being an "important passport for safe passage and preventing harassment and detention when traveling in conflict zones".
The fact-finding committee had been after former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti wrote to the Press Council on the "intimidation and harassment" of journalists in the union territory.