Journalists in Kashmir accuse Indian police of muzzling freedom of the press

Journalists in Kashmir valley in North India urged the Indian government on Monday to allow them to report freely and expressed concern about alleged police harassment. 

They said it began since the region’s semi-autonomy was rescinded in August amid an unprecedented lockdown.

The Kashmir Press Club, an elected body of journalists in the region, said security agencies were using physical attacks, threats, and summons to intimidate journalists. The group said the government should “ensure freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed in the constitution instead of muzzling the press.”

The journalists also criticized restrictions on the internet and surveillance by police, calling them “tools designed and aimed to ensure only the government-promoted version is heard.”

Foreign journalists have been denied permission to visit the Himalayan region.