SRINAGAR: Hundreds of journalists have written a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling for the release of Kashmiri journalist Asif Sultan who was detained two years ago. The letter, released by the Committee for Protection of Journalists, has been signed by 400 journalists and civil society members worldwide. Sultan was arrested on Aug. 27, 2018 and booked under a controversial anti-terror law.The New York-based non-profit group, in the letter, said that interviewing freedom fighters or having sources who are critical of the government is within the scope of a journalist’s job and does not implicate them in any crime. Events in Kashmir are of public interest, and covering them is a public service, not a criminal act. Sultan’s trial which began in June 2019 was slow and the authorities have repeatedly denied him bail, it added.“Police have reportedly interrogated him about his writing and asked him to reveal his sources,” the letter reads. The 34-year-old journalist covered politics and human rights for Kashmir Narrator, a monthly news magazine published from Srinagar, capital of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). He is married and has a two-year-old daughter, who was six months old when he was arrested.Showkat Motta, the editor of Kashmir Narrator, told Anadolu Agency: “Asif was framed. He has been targeted for his bold journalism.” He wrote for the magazine a detailed profile of Burhan Wani, a top freedom fighter who was martyred in an encounter with the Indian forces in 2016 and has since become a symbol of protests against the government in the disputed territory.The journalist is languishing at the Srinagar Central Jail, where reportedly more than 100 prisoners have tested positive for the coronavirus.There is no immediate response from the Modi-government on the statement.