JAMMU: It is all about paid media and fake news that has wreaked havoc in Jammu and Kashmir over the years. Both are motivated, obviously for vested interest and creating mistrust.A media house, known for blackmailing and dictating terms to the administration by twisting news and distorting the facts, for obvious reasons, is as usual engaged in its malicious intent of impressing the new set of the administration by carrying concocted news stories and scripting editorial columns.Despite facing many criminal and civil suits, the media house shamelessly leaves no chance to show its true colours. This is where the role of the pro-active administration chips, which has a bounden responsibility of initiating concrete steps to make such media houses and portals to maintain the sanctity, dignity and credibility of the fourth pillar of democracy, which is under severe strains. Any delay can prove counterproductive and encourage such unscrupulous media houses to continue tarnishing reputations, engage in blackmailing and dictate the course of administrative processes for their vested interest.This is a virus that if not treated in time will infect the entire body fabric of the society in general and the administration in particular.Already the administration is grappling with the menace of the paid and fake news that has created chaotic situations in a sensitive place like Jammu and Kashmir.What can be the example of paid and fake news than the fact that the perpetrators are twisting facts as per their malicious designs? One such example of the fake news is as recent as the other day, about the Shopian encounter which is being twisted in a malicious way to create a question mark on the credibility of the security agencies. Advisor to Lieutenant Governor Farooq Ahmad Khan had to go public saying that some people on social media call Shopian an encounter to “deteriorate situation” in Kashmir.“We will defeat all the conspiracies of those who want to deteriorate the situation in Kashmir. There are some reports about the missing of three persons. Enquiry has been started and everything will be clear very soon,” Khan told reporters in south Kashmir.On July 18, the army said three terrorists were killed in the higher reaches of Shopian in South Kashmir. However, no further details were shared. Families in Jammu region’s Rajouri have filed written complaints saying three men involved in labour work were missing from the same area. The army claimed that it is inquiring into an encounter by its troops in a South Kashmir village following complaints by families who have reported some men missing.On Monday, Srinagar-based Defence spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia issued a brief statement saying the army has noted social media inputs linked to the operations at Shopian on July 18. “The three terrorists killed during the operation have not been identified and the bodies were buried based on established protocols. The army is investigating the matter,” Colonel Rajesh Kalia said. The political parties have been demanding an impartial probe into the alleged encounter to ensure speedy justice.
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