The Wire journalist in Kashmir abruptly stopped midway during interview

In the video, The Wire’s senior journalist Arfa Khannum Sherwani is seen interviewing a local man who talks about how unemployment has risen over the last ten years.

Press freedom has always been a major concern in Jammu and Kashmir, especially after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 which essentially took away the state’s autonomy. There has always been heightened apprehension of journalists not being able to work freely and that was on display when a senior journalist from online news publication The Wire was forced to cut-short her interview while speaking to a person in public.

 

 

Journalist Arfa Khanum Sherwani was talking to a person on camera, when she was forced to stop her interview midway with the local in Srinagar. The incident was recorded on camera before the Kashmir security personnel asked it to be stopped.

In the video, Sherwani is seen interviewing a local man who talks about how unemployment has risen in Kashmir over the last 10 years. As the man speaks to The Wire, security personnel from across the road notice Sherwani’s camera crew and slowly walk towards them.

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“The Valley is facing one of its biggest challenges which is unemployment. Earlier, every house had a breadwinner. Now the situation has changed. Now families contain educated men and women but there are no jobs. The government (Union government) should focus on such issues,” the man is heard saying.

As the interview carries on, the police personnel ask the camera person to switch it off. Sherwani who is aware of the personnel, turns to her camera person.

 

 

India has ranked 159th out of 180 countries in the 2024 World Press Freedom Index, falling behind neighbouring Pakistan which ranked 152nd, posing a threat to the the world’s largest democracy.

In its analysis, the organisation that publishes the annual index, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), mentioned that “press freedom is in crisis in ‘the world’s largest democracy’,” referring to India under the regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014.

RSF’s analysis also mentioned that India’s media has fallen into an “unofficial state of emergency” citing an example of “Reliance Industries group’s managed by Mukesh Ambani that owns more than 70 media outlets that are followed by at least 800 million Indians.”

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