Allegation that media is being used against the victims of the State oppression including family of minor girl who can’t be identified
5 May 2016
On 4 May 2016, Greater Kashmir carried a story by reporter Shabir Ibn Yousuf wherein Executive Engineer, R&B Division, Handwara is quoted as stating that the father of the Handwara minor girl, working as a coolie in the department, has been “suspended” due to his “unauthorized absence”. The immediate fall out of this story was some prominent MLA’s approaching the family to pressurize them to seek political favour and assistance. Further, on 4 May 2016 itself, Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara sought an explanation from the Executive Engineer for his actions taken with “malafide intentions” [Communication no.: DCK/PS/2016/(05)/706].
The Greater Kashmir story, based on available information and documents, appears to be false and motivated.
Today, JKCCS was able to access the communication sent by the Executive Engineer, R&B Division, Handwara in response to the explanation sought by the DC Kupwara, which states that the father of the minor girl has not been suspended. Further, the document states that Greater Kashmir has wrongly published the news regarding the suspension, but noted that the employee is not attending duties since 14 April 2016 due to “domestic problems” [Communication no.: 651-53]. Perusing the response of the Executive Engineer, the DC Kupwara has issued an order to Greater Kashmir on 4 May 2016, specifying that the story of suspension was false as was another story published by Greater Kashmir relating to the killings at Handwara [Communication no.: DCK/PS/2016/36/718-23]. The Editor has been asked to take action regarding these false reports and make necessary corrigendum on the front page of the paper.
Right from 12 April 2016 we have observed irresponsible statements and actions from various parties – whether the State or non-State, including the media. These irresponsible statements and stories have been made with no concern for the minor girl, her family or the fact that the case is being heard by the High Court. This has served the interests of the police and the army that have thus far caged the minor girl and spread rumors with the express intent of defaming the girl and her family.
The entire episode regarding the status of the employment/suspension of the father of the minor girl requires immediate and comprehensive investigations. Greater Kashmir, the reporter involved, and the officials of R&B department concerned with this matter must be investigated for their role that has resulted in confusion, and increased pressure and trauma for the family and allowed vested political interests access to the minor girl and their family. This reflects how armed forces, police and politicians use media for perpetrating injustice and use media for pys-ops against the victims of the State oppression.
For the further perusal of media, the order of the DC Kupwara to Greater Kashmir and the communication of the Executive Engineer R&B Handwara are annexed.
Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.