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Jammu and Kashmir police arrest journalist

Khalid Gul was among more than a dozen men, mostly journalists, whose homes were searched by the police on November 19
Representational image.
Representational image.
File picture

Our Special Correspondent   |   Srinagar   |   Published 07.12.22, 04:42 AM

Jammu and Kashmir police have arrested a journalist, Khalid Gul, local news agency Kashmir News Observer reported on Tuesday, quoting police sources.

The Anantnag-based journalist had been arrested in a case filed in 2017, the agency said.


The police have not officially confirmed the arrest.

Family sources said Gul was summoned by the police on Monday evening and they had not heard from him since.

If confirmed, this would be the first arrest in the crackdown on the media following an online threat from a militant group to alleged pro-government journalists.

Gul, a postgraduate in journalism from Aligarh Muslim University, had worked for years as south Kashmir bureau chief of Greater Kashmir, the Valley’s largest circulated English daily.

The web edition of the newspaper carried a report about his arrest, quoting the news agency, in which it said that he had ended his association with the group early this year.

Gul was among more than a dozen men, mostly journalists, whose homes were searched by the police on November 19. They were questioned at a police station but none was arrested that day.

One of these journalists said they were questioned about the Pakistan-based blog spot Kashmir Fight, which had carried a threat by The Resistance Front to some journalists who it called “stooges” and “traitors”. 

Five journalists at a local newspaper had resigned following the threats.

The blog spot had claimed the targeted journalists worked for intelligence agencies and provided information “about freedom-loving people”. The threat named 21 owners, editors and reporters of mainly three Srinagar-based organisations — the newspapers Greater Kashmir and Rising Kashmir and the portal and social media channel Asian News Network.

Days after the threat, the police had searched the homes of several journalists across the Valley, including that of Gul.

Some of the journalists targeted had fiercely criticised government actions following the 2019 scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status but they subsequently toned down their attacks.

The police have in the past arrested several journalists and raided their homes after the 2019 scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

Several journalists are languishing in jail for months and years. Journalists have faced accusations of being sympathetic to the separatist cause or colluding with militants.

The journalists, however, claim the government was targeting them to crush dissent.

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