Indian govt continues harassing Kashmiri journalists in IoJK

-Another Editor from Ladakh detained over BJP comment
New Delhi: Tsewang Rigzin, the Leh correspondent of the popular Jammu-based daily State Times, was arrested on September 5 on the basis of a police complaint lodged by the BJP MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal from Ladakh.
Rigzin was granted bail the same evening.
In the run-up to the May 6, 2019 Parliamentary elections in Ladakh, which was won by Namgyal, Rigzin – as the general secretary of the Leh Press Club – was instrumental in filing an FIR against the then Jammu and Kashmir BJP leader Vikram Singh Randhawa for allegedly bribing journalists at a press meet “to influence the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections” just a day before the polling day.
Rigzin runs a popular Facebook group, ‘Ladakh in the Media’, which has about 34,000 members. On September 3, a member, whom the police have not been able to trace yet, had posted a comment on the BJP parliamentarian. Police then arrested Rigzin on September 5, citing the fact that he was the admin of that social media platform.
However, the arrest was said to been made under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code which amounts to disobeying a public servant. However, Rigzin has not been able to access a copy of the complaint yet and told The Wire that he is unsure if this is indeed the section under which he has been booked.The Wire has so far failed to reach Leh Police for a confirmation on the section or sections under which the journalist was held on September 5 before he was granted bail on the same day.
Rigzin said that until police brought the post to his notice on September 4, he had not seen it. He immediately offered to delete it. However, the police asked him not do so as it would amount to ‘destruction of evidence’. By then, the police had taken note of the BJP MP’s complaint.
“For a place like Ladakh with barely three lakh people, the reach of the FB group that I run with around 34,000 members is pretty high. Lot of people follow it. If something comes on that group, you can say that the whole of Ladakh will get to know about it,” he said.
“When I approve a person to be a member of the group, I can’t fully verify in minute details the credentials of a person. I can’t ask them for their Aadhaar card, for instance. Many members regularly post comments on what is happening in the state, on the group,” he added.
He told The Wire that on September 4, when he received the call from police informing him about the comment which led to the complaint, he offered all help in tracing the person. “It was difficult for police to do this as that person’s Facebook profile was locked.”
Rigzin received another call from the police on the evening of September 5. “I was asked to come to the police station regarding the comment of that member. There, I was told that they would have to arrest me. I could sense that there was pressure from the top to do so. I understood under what circumstances the police had to take that step.–Agencies