London: The editors of two prominent US magazines called for the release of an Indian journalist, Fahad Shah, arrested in Kashmir for his coverage of a police raid last month in the union territory's Pulwama region, Arab News reported.
Ravi Agrawal and Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, editors of magazines Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs, respectively, released a joint statement on Friday demanding Fahad's release. The statement said that the award-winning journalist and editor was a contributor to their publications and was arrested at J&K on Friday last week. They urged the Kashmir authorities that Shah needed to be released. Authorities should allow journalists to work freely in the country and should subject them to harassment. The statement added that a free press is vital for a democracy and using law enforcement to silence journalists is a dangerous abuse of power.
Fahad is the editor-in-chief of the news portal Kashmir Walla. The police had summoned him to question his coverage of the police raid, which had led to the deaths of four people.
After Shah got arrested, police said in a statement that Fahad was arrested for uploading anti-national content, who had criminal intentions to create fear among the public. The content Fahad published were glorifying terrorist activities, police had claimed.
Fahad gets arrested a month after another Kashmir Walla contributor, Sajad Gul, was detained over certain social media posts.
Journalists were always suppressed in Kashmir, and the same worsened after 2019, post abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. Journalists were targeted by militants in the region, subjected to pellet fires by security forces and murdered by unknown people.