J&K police on toes as website calls journalists, activists ‘gang of Indian payrolls’

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police appears to be on their toes following a social media post from an obscure source mentioning the names of as many as 27 local journalists and other media persons and 12 political and social activists as being on the payroll of the Indian government.

Though the post assumed by some security officials here as a “hit list” or, at least, a “warning list” titled the “whole gang of so-called journalist/media fraternity working under Indian payroll” was deleted later, the J&K police authorities have taken the matter “very seriously” and decided “leave nothing to chance”.

 

Over the past few days, the police have got in touch with almost all Valley-based media persons individually to inquire if they feel threatened and needed security or any assistance from it. The list had categorized fourteen media persons and ten activists as ‘A+’, nine as ‘B’ and four as ‘C’ grade members of the ‘gang’. The remaining two had been left without any ranking.

On Friday, the police also installed CCTV cameras in almost every nook and cranny of Mushtaq Press Enclave, the media hub of Srinagar named after photojournalist Mushtaq Ali who was killed in a parcel bomb explosion in this correspondent’s office in September 1995.

 

It was in this area only where ‘Rising Kashmir’ editor Shuja’at Bukhari was gunned down by unknown assailants –accused by the authorities of being Lashkar-e-Tayyaba cadres- on June 14, 2018. Another journalist Parvaz Sultan was also murdered here in February 2003.

The area, less than 300 yards from City centre Lal Chowk witnessed grenade attacks, kidnappings and some other atrocious incidents involving various parties to the conflict since 1990 when the Kashmiri separatist campaign burst into a major violence.  

 

The police officials said that the purpose of installing CCTV cameras in