SRINAGAR -- Regretting an incident of alleged manhandling of a photojournalist, the Jammu and Kashmir police today said that it is mulling special identification badges for lensmen belonging to media organisations to facilitate their field work.
"While regretting the recent unfortunate incident involving a photojournalist and a police officer, DGP S P Vaid hoped that such isolated instances will not come in the way of the energised approach of the law enforcing agency and the media fraternity. The matter is being looked into," an official spokesman said here.
Vaid said that the police in consultation with the media fraternity intend to provide special identification badges to photo journalists so that they are facilitated in performing their professional duties.
The statement comes two days after local media houses decided not to publish police press releases or advertisements till Vaid apologised for an alleged incident of manhandling of photojournalists by a police officer on 16 March outside separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's residence.
The Kashmir Editors' Guild (KEG), a representative body of editors of local publications, had also demanded action against the police officer.
Vaid lauded the media-police relations, saying that the two institutions have been working in complete harmony and in a spirit of camaraderie amid challenging situations.
It is heartening that the media and the police are performing their professional responsibilities by understanding each other fully, even at times when the situation unfolds numerous challenges, he said.
The DGP hoped that the media, being the fourth pillar of democracy, will perform its professional obligations in most conducive atmosphere and assured that the police will always facilitate their job by providing all sort of assistance.
Later talking to reporters in Jammu, the police chief said, "Kashmir is a place which was inhabited by sufi saints for centuries. They have worshiped here. I would like everybody to introspect where we have brought this heaven on earth to. Have we made it a hell?"
He said, "Kashmiri youths are for peace and for living a life of peace. No one likes violence and everyone wants to live a peaceful life."
Replying to a question about the security arrangements for bypolls to two Lok Sabha constituencies in Kashmir Valley, he said that police will do their jobs and ensure free and fair polling.
On the surfacing of posters warning people to stay away from polling, Vaid said, "We have identified some of the miscreants and cases have also been registered against them. I am sure that people will defy the threat calls and participate in large in the polling process."
"As far as security is concerned, whether it is the Line of Control or the International Border, Army, BSF and Police are working jointly," he said.
He said peace will prevail in the Kashmir Valley and tourists' inflow will also rise after the state administration moves to Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
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