JAMMU: Even as various State government agencies continue to remain in deep slumber, unmindful of the threat posed by illegal immigrants from Myanmar in huge numbers, reporting from ground zero has become hazardous for working journalists in Jammu.
Ironically, the brazen attack in the Rohingya market is being under played by the police with an avowed objective of shielding and insulating the illegal immigrants, whose presence in the temple city is widely seen as an attempt to unleash demographic change in Jammu.
According to sources, the presence of journalist sent shock waves among illegally settled Roghingyas who sought replenishment of their supporters in Bathindi and Sunjwan areas through cell phones, the SIM cards which have been illegally procured.
The journalists and an RTI activist were infact investigating the source of SIM cards procured without required authentication.
Sources said that police inaction is motivated by political intervention as the issue of Rohingya settlers and attack on working journalists in the ‘upcoming settlements’ had potential to hog international headlines.
Interestingly the Kashmir centric so called main stream political parties have developed soft corner for the Rohingyas while BJP is feeling hapless in countering the political onslaught.
On Tuesday afternoon when a group of journalists were busy doing their story in Kiryani Talab area of Bathindi near Burmese Market, a group of youth targeted them with wooden logs and hurled abuses on them without any provocation.
As TV journalists present on ground zero tried to save one of their colleagues, they too were targeted by the local youth. Some of the TV crew members also received injuries in the scuffle. Timely intervention of few other locals present on the spot saved the situation from taking an ugly turn.
As journalists moved out of the area, they lodged a formal complaint with the Trikuta Nagar Police Station with details of sequence of events leading to the deadly attack on them.
According to police, TV journalists Tejinder Singh Sodhi of Republic TV, Ajay Jandyal of News X, his cameraman Neeraj Sharma and RTI activist Rohit Choudhary were injured in the attack.
Moving swiftly in the matter, police apprehended two local boys, identified as Mohd Ashraf and Sher Mohd and later arrested them after lodging a formal FIR in the matter.
According to Inspector General of Police SD Singh Jamwal,” A group of journalists was attacked by local youth in Bathindi area of Jammu on Tuesday afternoon”. He said an FIR (77/18) under Sections 341,323,382,34 RPC has been registered at Police Station Trikuta Nagar.
Earlier, SSP Jammu Vivek Gupta told media persons in Trikuta Nagar Police Station, “They have apprehended two local youth on the basis of complaint filed by journalists”.
He said the police has started investigation in the case and efforts are on to ascertain the exact reasons why journalists were attacked by the local youth.
SSP Jammu also said that Rohingya youth were not involved in the attack.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh condemned the attack on senior journalists while discharging their professional duties.
In a message of solidarity with the media fraternity, Dr Singh said that these types of attacks are highly condemnable and should be reprobated by every section of society.
Press Club of Jammu also condemned the attack by some miscreants on media persons, who were on news coverage.
In a meeting of the Managing Committee, held in the Club premises this afternoon, the Secretary General, Zorawar Singh Jamwal, strongly condemned attack on the media persons and demanded strict action against the miscreants by the police.
“This is not the first case, in past as well, there have been cases of assault on working journalists while on duty and it is a direct attack on the fourth pillar of our democracy,” pointed out Zorawar and demanded, “The concerned Police Department must immediately register a case and nab all the miscreants who attacked the journalists.”
In his address, Secretary General, Press Club of Jammu, Zorawar Singh Jamwal also demanded that the State Government must ensure safety of working journalists who are discharging their duties in terrorism infested J&K while putting their life risk.
Condemning attack on media persons, State President, Shri Ram Sena (SRS), Rajiv Mahajan also demanded strong action against all those who attacked the journalists.
He demanded immediate steps for safety and security of media persons as democracy cannot afford to allow anybody to hold the rule of law to ransom.
“Any such attack is an attempt to prevent media from discharging its legitimate duty of dissemination of information, a duty that is vital to the healthy functioning of a democracy,” he added.
He demanded urgent action to nab the culprits and wanted the State Government and police high command to ensure that such incidents do not recur.
Meanwhile, Udhampur print and electronic media widely condemned the assault by some miscreants allegedly Rohingyas on media persons during coverage in so called illegal Rohingyas colony in Jammu.
In a meeting in Udhampur members of both print and electronic media strongly condemned the physical assault by Rohingyas on the Jammu media persons. Journalist urged to the government to initiate a strict legal action against the miscreants so that they should be packed back to their native places without any delay.
Senior journalist Pardeep Bakshi, Anil Dubey, Ramesh Gupta, Amit Mahi, Pawan Gupta, Arun Gupta Sher Singh, Sourab Sagar, Deepak Anand, Surinder Sharma, Arun Jasrotia were present in the meeting and widely condemned the attack.
Rajouri: Press Club Rajouri headed by its President Avinash Jasyal and Chief Advisor Virinder Malhotra strongly condemned the attack on some journalists in Jammu earlier in the day and have called for stern action in the matter.
In its press statement, Press Club Rajouri terms this incident as unfortunate and attempt of some people to target fourth pillar of democracy which is not a healthy sign for nation. Press Club Rajouri calls for strong action in this matter so that accused can be dealt strictly under law.
In a meeting, members of Press Club Poonch condemned the attack on journalist by some goons and anti national elements at Jammu. All the members including President Salil Raina, Vice President Dhanuj Sharma, General Secretary Anubhav Misri, Cashier JB Singh and Joint Secretary Rajesh Tandon condemned the attack and appealed the J&K Police to initiate a probe against the person’s involved. Meanwhile, Press Club Poonch has extended full support to Press Club Jammu on the issue and requested all Journalists to come together on the issue and fight against wrong and anti national elements.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper