Persecuting the fourth estate

In yet another attack on the fourth estate, the authorities have banned publication of a local newspaper.

In yet another attack on the fourth estate, the authorities have banned publication of a local newspaper. The ban was imposed on Sunday.

While the government spokesman brazenly said that he was not aware of the development, the concerned editor says the ban was attack on freedom of press.  

Earlier in July, the authorities imposed ban on publication of all the newspapers published from Srinagar. The ban continued for three days. Before imposing the ban, the police raided the newspaper offices and seized copies of all the newspapers.  

The ban evoked widespread ridicule from across the globe and the government was forced to  allow publication of the newspapers. The government seems to have run out of ideas. The authorities imposed ban on the mobile internet which directly affected the scribes. Besides the government imposes ban on the broadband internet which the scribes believe is an indirect attack on the fourth estate.

The local scribes have been working in very difficult times for the past twenty-six years. They have been humiliated, abducted, arrested and even killed. However, notwithstanding the odds, they have stood for the truth. They have made it clear time and again that they cannot be broken into submission by such cheap machinations. During the past three months there have been as many as fifteen attacks on the media persons.  

Last month scribes were beaten to pulp at Batamaloo while performing their professional duties. Two of them had to be rushed to the hospital for first aid.  The onslaught started immediately after killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani in South Kashmir on July 8 and continues to this day. Besides beating scribes and banning publication of newspapers, the authorities have been using subtle means to muzzle the press. Withholding of advertisements for reporting the truth has become a routine in this neglected land.  The security agencies, it seems, have been given a free hand to muzzle the press. But the journalists of the state are determined to bring the truth to fore. The authorities better ensure smooth functioning of the fourth estate. Truth always prevails. 

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