Two days after an oped in Rising Kashmir called 11 independent journalists terror sympathisers and sought action against them for their work, the Digipub News India Foundation on Friday said the “defamatory accusations” have put the journalists in “greater danger than ever”.
The article – titled – was written by one Majeed Ahmad, who the paper doesn’t identify. Its primary target, according to the Digipub statement, was Pulitzer awardee Sanna Irshad Mattoo who was recently prevented from flying abroad by the Union government “without reason or law being cited”.
Notably, it was the same author who last month wrote another piece in Greater Kashmir titled ‘’. It called Caravan a “rag magazine” and Shahid Tantray’s on the army’s role in nationalistic protests in Kashmir a “bundle of lies and deceit”. It accused the report of naming “prominent people” and thus “carefully send out the hit-list to terrorist groups on the prowl of people advocating peace in the valley”.
“Digipub demands that these local media organisations pause and take a critical look at what they have done. We also demand that the State cease the illegal intimidation of independent journalists and ensure their safety and protection of their constitutional rights,” the foundation said in a statement on Friday.
#Thread— Aakash Hassan (@AakashHassan) July 7, 2022
Urgent: Today, I have been named along with 10 other Kashmiri journalists in a slanderous article in @RisingKashmir, which can have grave, life threatening consequences. Tactics of Al Qaeda have been invoked to draw dangerous comparisons. pic.twitter.com/tzb8Y3OIDg
The article in Rising Kashmir on Thursday stated, “Terrorists have a short life. But, that's not the case with the other group providing terrorists certain legitimacy and helping them to recruit misguided youth…In Kashmir valley a large number of narrative builders, largely supported by international media platforms and nondescript news portals, are thriving. These newly minted narrative builders are not baptized in a newsroom but in cafes like the one situated near Amar Singh College. Possibly, they have never worked on beats, desks and possess hardly any exposure on the art of cultivating sources. But, they have other advantages, which a beat reporter will never have – luxury of time and a strong extra-judicial ecosystem. They are well-trained in preaching hatred, providing legitimacy to Pakistan's state-sponsored brutality against common Kashmiri.”
Naming Mattoo among others, it further states, “One well-known narrative builder is Ms. Sana Irshad Mattoo. Born in downtown Srinagar Ms. Mattoo is a typical Anti-State, Pro-Pakistan narrative builder. She speaks the same language that finds sanction in lexicon of proscribed Lashkar-e-Taiba (leT) or any other Pakistan-supported terror outfits operating in Kashmir valley. But, unlike terrorists, she is not on the run or hiding in a jungle. She lives in a society and carries more potent weapons of mass indoctrination.”
It goes on to say that “Mattoo and other calling terrorists as ‘heroes’ and using the term ‘Indian Administered Kashmir’ may lose government benefits, will have to face the law and her passport too can be impounded because the law of the land is very clear about country’s sovereignty”.
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