Withdrawal of security to political activists ‘arbitrary’, has no justification: Tarigami

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Srinagar, April 03: CPI (M) senior leader and former MLA Kulgam, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami on Wednesday said the decision of government to withdraw security of political activists of different parties, including CPI (M), is arbitrary and has no justification.

“The decision has been taken at a time when election process is in full swing and it could endanger the lives of these leaders and activists,” Tarigami said in a statement issued to media.

He said political process in violence-hit Kashmir is itself a difficult task. “The activists cutting across the political line are risking their lives and doing their bit to strengthen the process of peace. Administration should encourage them by protecting them. The least the administration can do is to provide them the security,” he said.

However, unfortunately, security cover of activists, cutting across political spectrum, has been withdrawn. Security cover of three prominent leaders of CPI (M) namely Mohammad Afzal Parray, Sham Prasad Kesar and Mohammad Yousuf Lone has also been withdrawn, the statement issued here reads.

“I have taken up the issue with Governor Satya Pal Malik appealing him to direct the concerned to reconsider this decision and restore the security to the prominent functionaries of political parties so that they can carry out their activities freely,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tarigami said the fresh decision of the government to stop advertisements to Kashmir Uzma after Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader for unknown reasons is regrettable and unfortunate.

“The latest ban, like the previous one, has been reportedly implemented without conveying to the newspaper management,” he said.

He added that such curbs on the fourth estate in a democratic setup are unacceptable and authorities should ensure that the media, in one of the most sensitive states in the country, is not strangulated.

“Putting bans on government advertisements to newspapers will impact the state and status of both the journalists and the journalism in Kashmir and is an arm-twisting tactic by the authorities. Attempts are being made to interfere in the freedom of the press by exerting financial pressure which is highly unfortunate,” he added.

He said the government has a duty to respect the freedom of the press, and the right of people to receive information. “It cannot stop advertisements simply for being critical of the government. The Kashmir media is reporting the same morbidity as the overall situation afflicted economy represents,” he added.

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