‘Media is the fourth pillar of democracy, harassing them unacceptable’ : Sheikh Imran

‘Criticizes administration over sitting arrangement for PDP ministers’

Srinagar, Jan 21: Deputy Mayor Srinagar Sheikh Mohammad Imran Saturday condemned the action of the security grid for not allowing journalists to cover the Republic Day parade, stating that targeting journalist unfortunate.

Imran said media is the fourth pillar of democracy, but senior journalists were stopped at the venue by security personnel. He said in a democracy these things are unacceptable and Governor should take this issue seriously.

“Threatening media and not allowing them to carry professional duties is a violation of their basic rights. If media fraternity is harassed in this way, then there is no space left for common man,” he said.

In many countries of world, there is a conflict but journalists are treated as ambassadors of peace but in Kashmir, they are being harassed on daily basis.

Imran said it is an alarming issue and we need to see it from all angles. In last week they (journalists) were attacked by pellets by security forces, these things should not be repeated in the future.

He said 26 Jan has become monster for Kashmiris as authorities are frisking pedestrians, students, searching belongings of commuters and people are being harassed, Imran said.

“We need to create a friendly atmosphere and change our attitude towards our own people. Authorities should issues advisories in future so that people should not suffer,” Imran said.

Over internet shutdown, he said it has become routine in Kashmir to suspend internet services. Authorities are claiming normalcy but resulting inconvenience to people, Imran said.

“You cannot hijack people and do whatever you want, but these things will not be accepted in future. The government should come out with more alternatives to prevent frequent internet shutdowns,” he said.

Deputy Mayor also criticized authorities for sitting arrangement in R-day functions. Imran said we should have some respect for them as they have served J&K state.

Both PDP leaders including former minister Naeem Akhtar and MLC Khurshid Alam were compelled to sit with junior level employees. He said Governor should also intervene in this matter.