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Former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Friday asked the deputy speaker of the legislative assembly to not be harsh with journalists reporting the House proceedings.

Omar made his statement minutes after the deputy speaker Nazir Gurezi ordered the assembly security to snatch cell-phone of a journalist in the press galley of the House.


Gurezi also said that he won’t allow journalists to use their cell phones in the House.

Omar told the deputy speaker, who was holding the proceedings of the zero hour in the lower House, that the cell phone should not have been snatched from the journalist.

“You should not have asked the security to snatch phone of the journalist. Technology has been advanced and they use their cell phones for live streaming of the House proceedings,” Omar said.

Omar’s intervention was responded with thumping of desks by the media persons from the press gallery.

“These days they don’t need to take along their big cameras to report the House proceedings but do so by using their cell phones,” Omar said.

Omar said that the journalists in press gallery cannot do reporting of the House proceedings if they are harassed like this.

“…And then the members of the House will start complaining that they are not given space in newspapers and channels,’ he said and asked the deputy speaker to relax his rules and “handover the phone to the journalist.”

Gurezi meanwhile said that he didn’t mean that journalists can’t carry cell phones inside the assembly but they can’t make calls during the proceedings of the House.

“I didn’t mean they can’t use cell phones or I won’t allow them to carry them, but the journalist was talking over his phone which is not allowed,” he said and withdrew his decision.