PCI constitutes 3-member Fact Finding Committee to look into harassment of journalists in J&K

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The Press Council of India (PCI) has constituted a three-member Fact Finding Committee to visit Jammu and Kashmir to look into the intimidation and harassment of journalists in the Union Territory.

“The PCI chairman while taking suo-motu cognizance on the communications of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti regarding intimidation and harassment of journalists in J&K has constituted a three-member Fact Finding Committee,” reads a statement of PCI.

The Fact Finding Committee comprises Prakash Dubey, Convenor and Group Editor Dainik Bhaskar; Gurbir Singh of The New Indian Express and Dr Suman Gupta of Jan Morcha.

“The members of the committee will inquire into the matter and the Fact Finding Committee will regulate its own procedure,” the statement read.

The PCI urged the J&K government to extend full cooperation and assistance to the Fact Finding Committee for the discharge of its function.

“The Fact Finding Committee is required to make a thorough probe into the matter holding discussion with the concerned authorities and the affected journalists and collect such information as it deems fit to submit its report to the Council at the earliest,” the PCI statement added.

Mehbooba Mufti thanked the Press Council for constituting a Fact Finding committee to probe harassment meted to journalists.

“Thankful to the @PressCouncil_IN for their decision to constitute a fact finding committee to probe about journalists being harassed in J&K. Hope the local administration ensures their full co-operation so that this committee can discharge its duty (sic),” tweeted Mehbooba.

On Monday, Mehbooba wrote wrote a letter to Press Council of India and Editors Guild of India  on the intimidation, snooping and harassment of journalists in J&K alleging that reporting truth to power is being criminalized in J&K.

Mehbooba had urged PCI and EGI to send a fact-finding team to the region.

She had alleged that the harassment and intimidation of journalists has taken place after revocation of Articles 370 and 35A and bifurcation of J&K state into two Union Territories by centre on August 5, 2019.