Once again, media gagged in Kashmir

Greater Kashmir

No newspaper to hit stands on Tuesday

Srinagar, Sept 13: The strict curfew and restrictions imposed by the state government forced the local newspaper organizations and television networks to suspend their operations on Monday.
No Valley-based newspaper, including Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Uzma could hit the stands on Monday after two-day holidays on Eid-ul Fitr.
However, Greater Kashmir kept its readers abreast online with minute by minute updates on the current situation in Kashmir. This was for the second time in three months that newspapers failed to hit the stand due to curfew and restrictions on the movement of local journalists.
Due to restrictions, the news reports generally emanating from local cable network were not aired with the organizations putting tickers citing reason for the news blockade.
However, journalists working for New Delhi based organisations reported the events from Srinagar.
Condemning what it termed as ‘relentless’ media gag, the Kashmir Press Association in a statement said: “The unprecedented unrest of past 3-months has hit the media industry in Kashmir severely. Thrashing of reporters, tearing their curfew passes by men in uniform has become a norm out here.”
The KPA statement said this was in addition to the tremendous economic loss suffered by newspapers on account of non –publication and virtually no distribution due to severe curfew like restrictions and curtailed advertisements due to unrest. “It is ironical to note that the  government has adopted a discriminatory attitude and not only facilitated entry of Delhi based journalists but has put all help, assistance and full government hospitality at their disposal so as to ensure the coverage of the events, as it deems suitable. And on contrary scores of local journalists have been thrashed while discharging their professional duties.”
According to KPA, the copies of newspapers and other dailies from Jammu were offloaded at Banihal and the vehicle carrying newspapers was directed to go back.
“The staff of newspapers is not being allowed to proceed to the office which is severely denting publications of newspapers.”
The KPA has also condemned curbs imposed on cable TV networks in Kashmir. “As a matter of fact, various local channels could not telecast evening news bulletins on Sunday as their reporters and cameramen were not allowed to come out and discharge their professional duties.”
KPA has also condemned the ban on Iranian News Channel-“Press TV”.