Media Subterfuge In Kashmir

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Woman’s Talk Reveals Her Brother Was A  Militant, Some Journos Try To Distract Public Opinion

Spin Yarns Of “Multiple And Conflicting Versions”

On January 30, Sunday, a top Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant commander was gunned down along with his associates in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Police said Zahid Ahmad Wani, who joined JeM in 2017, was gunned down in the encounter with suspected Pakistani militant Kafeel Bhari alias Chotu and a local militant named  Waheed Ahmad Reshi.

In the gunfight, Inayat Ahmad Mir, the son of the owner of the house was also killed. His family later staged a protest outside the police control room in Srinagar. They demanded his body claiming that Inayat was innocent. They told media persons that Inayat raised sheep for a living. A video clip, meanwhile, went viral in Kashmir. The video was the response of Inayat’s sister, who was asked by the security forces to narrate the sequence of events. In the video, Inayat’s sister told the police that the three militants had come to their house at about 10 pm on Thursday. “There were three of them… They came at 10 pm on Thursday.” Thereafter, Inayat’s sister was asked to narrate the sequence of events after her family was asked by the security forces to come out of the house on Saturday evening.

“We two sisters and our mother came out. Father was in Trichal (adjacent village). He (Inayat) was with them (militants). I couldn’t muster the courage to tell you (the truth). He did not agree to come out. He said he would die with them (militants).” This was the plain sequence of events narrated by the militants’ sister. Some correspondents chose to deflect the information provided by the militant’s sister in the name of “multiple and conflicting versions”.

In a conflict region, such deliberate distortion of news is not without agenda. This is part of the strategy of this clique of spin doctors in the Valley. The effort is to create a cloud of suspicion against every effort to dismantle the terror network in Kashmir. There is a constant attempt to discredit such efforts.

The police summoned some local journalists for incorrect reporting on the Pulwama encounter. These included prominent TV commentator Majid Hyderi, Kamran Yusuf of NewsClick, Vikar Syed of Free Press Kashmir and Fahad Shah, editor of the Kashmir Walla magazine. Such disinformation was largely ignored before August 5, 2019. Thereafter, the state became cognizant of the dangers of disinformation, and how this is milked by Pakistan for pushing its agenda on Kashmir.

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