10 August 2019
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has been moved seeking direction for ease of movement of mediapersons in the Valley to report freely on the situation there.
In the plea, Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, has sought directions for an enabling environment for journalists to practice their profession freely in Jammu and Kashmir.
It also sought immediate relaxation in the debilitating restrictions imposed through complete shutdown of internet and telecommunication services, and curbs on the movement of photo journalists/reporters to ensure the freedom of media.
The petitioner's counsels -- Vrinda Grover, Soutik Banerjee and Ratna Appnender -- have sought directions to the J&K government to relax the restrictions to help them report freely on the situation in the Valley after the clampdown on August 4.
The petitioner said she had not been able to print and publish the Kashmir edition of Kashmir Times due to clampdown on communication services and movement, causing blockade on media activities, including publishing and reporting on the situation in Kashmir.
She submitted that such restrictions were curbing the rights of journalists under the provisions of Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution, and the right to know the conditions of residents of Valley.
The petitioner said complete internet and telecommunication shutdown, severe restrictions on movement in the Valley at a time when significant political and constitutional changes were being undertaken was fuelling anxiety, panic, alarm, insecurity and fear among the residents of Kashmir.
She also said the information blackout was a grave violation of the right of the people as the media can't report on the ongoing developments and publish opinion of the residents of Kashmir.