The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting of India has instructed The Caravan magazine to take down an article addressing the alleged torture and murder of civilians in Jammu.
The publication said that it received the directive from the Union government on February 13, with a strict demand to withdraw the story within 24 hours.
The article titled ‘Screams from the Army Post: The Indian Army’s torture and murder of civilians in a restive Jammu’ presents a detailed examination of the events, offering evidence contrary to recent statements by the security forces and Jammu & Kashmir Police.
According to The Caravan’s narrative, the Indian Army is implicated in the alleged torture and killing of local men in the troubled Poonch region. The incidents detailed occurred in the aftermath of a attack on December 21, which claimed the lives of four Army jawans.
Among the reported incidents, one family allegedly received Rs 10 lakh from the army without an explanation following the deaths.
The article claims that 25 individuals were detained and subjected to severe torture by the Army.
Furthermore, the directions provided in the article suggest a policy of collective punishment in the region, urging the army to identify villages and populations as “black, grey and white” and to “treat accordingly.”
Responding to the government’s order, The Caravan magazine announced its intention to challenge the directive. In a statement on X, they declared, “The order’s content is confidential. We will be challenging this order.”
This move by the Central government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, adds to a series of criticisms over its alleged suppression of press freedom in India
In Poonch, following a suspected militant attack that claimed four soldiers’ lives, three civilians were found dead on December 22. Allegedly taken into Army custody for questioning, an FIR was filed on January 22 under IPC sections 302 and 307, citing murder and attempted murder in connection with the civilians’ deaths. A video surfaced, purportedly showing soldiers stripping the victims and sprinkling red chilli powder on them, prompting public outrage. While the Jammu and Kashmir government acknowledged the deaths, they have yet to explain the circumstances leading to this tragic incident.