Jammu and Kashmir police on Wednesday asked media persons not to carry any live coverage of encounter sites or any other law and order situation. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, has enjoined upon media persons not to interfere in professional and bona fide duties of the security forces at sites of encounters and during law and order situations.
He advised the media persons that no operational content should be carried which is likely to incite violence or contain anything against maintenance of law and order or which promotes anti-national sentiment. The live coverage by the media at encounter sites encourages those who want to create trouble and due to this reason the decision has been taken. Responding to that, the Valley’s media fraternity said that reporters or camerapersons do not “interfere” in the work of the security forces but only discharge their professional duty while covering encounters, their aftermath or law and order situations. From 2016 onwards stone-pelting protests at the encounter sites had emerged as a major problem for security forces in Kashmir.
In 2017 then Army Chief Bipin Rawat had to issue a warning that the civilian protesters obstructing encounters, would be treated as “overground workeers of terrorists” and dealt with “harshly.” However, stone-pelting incidents have come down and people rushing to encounter sites to help the trapped militants have drastically gone down since the abrogation of J&K’s special status in August 2019.