Home Minister Amit Shah at the Ministry of Home Affairs today
Amid a fresh round of threats issued to Kashmiri journalists working in the Valley, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has acknowledged that eight Srinagar-based media persons have received threats from militants, with four of them having resigned from their jobs over these threats.
Earlier this week, Kashmir Fight, the mouthpiece of the terrorist outfit TRF, had released a fresh list of journalists and politicians, threatening to attack them in the Valley.
The list has been published on the TRF blog, which is backed by the Lashkar Taiba terror outfit. Security agencies, however, are trying to ascertain the authenticity of these lists that have gone viral on social media.
"As reported, eight journalists working for Srinagar-based local newspapers received threats through the terror blog Kashmir Fight. Four media persons have reportedly resigned over the threats. Those who resigned belong to the Rising Kashmir media house," Nityanand Rai, the Union Minister of State for Home, said in the Rajya Sabha today.
According to the minister, a case has been registered at the Shergari Police Station in Srinagar.
Earlier, security agencies went into a tizzy when Kashmiri Pandit teachers at government institutions were threatened with dire consequences and their names were published on the blog.
A list of 56 Kashmiri Pandit teachers in the Valley had gone viral along with threatening posters. The list carried details of their names, residential addresses and present job locations.
Voicing their concern over safety issues, the Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti had tweeted: "How did this record reach militants? Are staff at government departments [working] with terrorists? How can a Hindu be safe in Kashmir when his colleagues wish him dead?"
The tweet was tagged to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, United Nations Human Rights authority and BJP.
Meanwhile, MHA, in its reply to BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, said the government has a policy of zero tolerance towards militancy and that the security situation has improved significantly in Jammu and Kashmir.
"The government has taken several steps to protect the lives of people, including media persons, from militant threats and attacks, through proactive security arrangements," the minister said, adding that security and intelligence agencies remain deployed across Jammu and Kashmir to thwart any threat from terrorists or their handlers.
The MHA also confirmed that 14 persons belonging to minority communities, including three Kashmiri Pandits, were killed in Jammu and Kashmir from January to November this year.
Mr Rai also acknowledged that there were media reports of Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti highlighting their security concerns, following which, various measures were taken by the government to protect the lives of minorities, including static guards, day-and-night area domination and round the clock 'naka' checkings at strategic points.