Srinagar, June 16, 2019 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, senior journalist Siddharth Varadarajan has said that non-deliverance of justice in Pathribal fake encounter case, reported by him, still pains him. Sharing his experience about reporting on the case way back in 2000, when he was working with Times of India, Varadarajan said despite facts showing victims were not involved in any act of violence, non-delivery of justice pains him as a journalist.
“Pathribal fake encounter case still pains me. I was with Times of India those days. We got DNA reports from CDFD Hyderabad forensic laboratory. We proved how JandK government had fudged DNA samples of the victims…we were able to prove that victims were civilians since DNA samples of policemen were shown as samples of victims who were actually females…”, he said.
Varadarajan, who has over a two-decade career, both as a reporter and an editor, was interacting with media students in Srinagar. He said since Kashmir was a conflict zone for a very long time, it is the reason for high quality writings and reportage emanating from the region.
“…Kashmir is very important to us editorially. I think maximum reports we published from any states at The Wire, would be from JK. And I would say the reason for this partiality towards Kashmir is partly in our own interest, the value of the stories,” said Varadarajan, who resigned as an editor at The Hindu newspaper in 2011 to launch his own news portal The Wire.
Varadarajan said in the present times when critical reporting is termed anti national, journalists should focus on ground reporting to get the facts to deflate propaganda bubble.
“Critics are called anti-national. There has been a long history to it. It was started by Indira Gandhi when she starting giving it a name of foreign hand or conspiracy. Rajiv Gandhi used it during Punjab agitation when people were talking about human rights and Bhopal tragedy. We have dealt with it. Now labeling is at higher and wider scale. Now people in Universities, NGOs are being targeted…,”he said.
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