The BBC on Sunday released an extraordinary statement to publicly defend its journalism after the government and local police doubted the authenticity of videos broadcast by the British public broadcaster on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
In its statement, the corporation said, “The BBC stands by its journalism and we strongly refute any claims that we have misrepresented events in Kashmir. We are covering the situation impartially and accurately. Like other broadcasters, we are currently operating under severe restrictions in Kashmir but we will continue to report what is happening.”
— BBC News Press Team (@BBCNewsPR) August 11, 2019
The BBC also released the same statement in Urdu from the Twitter handle of its Urdu Service, which predominantly broadcasts to Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir.
بی بی سی اپنی رپورٹنگ پر قائم ہے اور ہم ان دعوؤں کی سختی سے تردید کرتے ہیں کہ ہم نے کشمیر میں واقعات کو غلط رپورٹ کیا ہے۔ ہم غیر جانبدارانہ اور درست طور پر صورتحال کا احاطہ کررہے ہیں۔ دیگر نشریاتی اداروں کی طرح ہم بھی اس وقت کشمیر میں سخت پابندیوں کے باوجود کام کر رہے ہیں۔ 1/2 https://t.co/31dpHRLXXZ
— BBC News اردو (@BBCUrdu) August 11, 2019
The controversy gained momentum after BBC on Saturday released a video of police firing in Srinagar following Friday prayers. This came after local police desperately issued a denial calling the reports of firing as false and mischievous.
In the video, protesters could be seen shouting slogans against the Indian government’s decision to scrap Article 370. The protest and the subsequent police firing took place on Friday when the government had relaxed its restrictions on local resident in view of the Friday prayer.
SP Pani, the Inspector General of Police, had released a video message denying the reports by foreign news agencies. He said, “This is to clarify some international media reports regarding firing incidents in the valley, they are wrong, no such incident has taken place. Valley has remained largely peaceful over last 1 week.”