The Indian defence ministry has told editors to re-verify news content relating to Indian army, following publication of a news item that contradicted a key aspect of the militant attack at Uri military base.
“All content relating to Indian army, irrespective of source of inputs, and intended to be published, should be pre-verified from the offices of media centres in commands & corps HQ or from this office through your defence correspondents,” said a communiqué to media centres.
At least 18 personnel of Indian military were killed when four commando-style gunmen burst into the brigade headquarters near the Line of Control (LoC). The assault was among the deadliest in held Kashmir and has sharply ratcheted up tension between the nuclear-armed rivals.
The Indian ministry’s remarks were in response to a story in the Indian Express on September 21, contradicting a claim made by Director General of Military Operations Lt Gen Ranbir Singh that the arms recovered from the militants bore “Pakistani markings.”
Quoting sources, the newspaper had reported that four Kalashnikov rifles handed over by the army to investigating teams had no markings or insignia of any kind. Further, it said that there were no military markings on barrel-fired grenades.
While the Indian defence ministry denies that the DGMO ever gave such statement, several media outlets had quoted him saying that to television channels and no denial was made for it despite passage of more than a day.
Meanwhile, The Wire held the stance that the ministry’s demand was baseless, as according to the constitution, no government body had the right to censor or screen any news item before its publication.
Pakistan and India have been at odds since July 8 when a populist Kashmiri rebel leader Burhan Muzaffar Wani was killed by Indian forces. At least 100 demonstrators have so far been killed due to the occupied military’s indiscriminate use of force against Kashmiri masses.
The article originally appeared on The Wire.