Amid row, J&K govt cancels allotment of premises to Kashmir Press Club

In the latest development in the controversy regarding Kashmir Press Club, the J-K administration has cancelled the allotment of the club and reverted the building to the Estates Department.

In an official statement, the J-K administration said, “The government is concerned over the emergent situation which has arisen due to the unpleasant turn of events involving two rival warring groups using the banner of the Kashmir Press Club.”

It said the factual position is that KPC as a registered body has ceased to exist and its managing body has come to a legal closure on July 14, 2021, the date on which its tenure came to an end. In its failure to register itself under the central Societies of Registration Act, further compounded by its failure to hold elections to constitute a new managing body, some individuals of the erstwhile club have been committing illegalities on several counts, least of which is a false portrayal of being owners-managers of an entity which is no longer in legal vogue, it said.

“Meanwhile, some other members have created an interim body using the same banner suggesting a ‘takeover’. However, since the original KPC itself has ceased to exist as a registered body, the question of any interim body is rendered infructuous. In these circumstances, issuing of notices and communication by any group using the rubric of erstwhile Kashmir Press Club is illegal,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the rival groups have been levelling allegations against each other also with regard to the use of the premises belonging to the estate’s department that was being used for the legitimate use of the members of the journalistic fraternity.

It further read, “In view of this aspect of the dispute and in view of the reports in social media and other sources indicating a potential law and order situation including a threat of breach of peace and the safety of bona fide journalists, an intervention has become necessary.”

“In view of the unpleasant developments and dissensions between various groups of journalists, it has been decided that the allotment of the premises at Polo View in view of the now-deregistered Kashmir Press Club be cancelled and control of land and buildings situated at Polo View, Srinagar, which belongs to the Estates Department be reverted to the said department,” the statement by the administration read.