J&K authorities seal Kashmir Times office in Srinagar, give no reason for action

The newspaper owners also claimed that no notice of cancellation or eviction was served on them and 'nothing in writing' was given to them

Press Trust of India October 20, 2020 13:06:53 IST
J&K authorities seal Kashmir Times office in Srinagar, give no reason for action

The offices of Kashmir Times in Srinagar. Twitter/@AnuradhaBhasin_

Srinagar: Authorities on Monday sealed the office of a prominent daily in Jammu and Kashmir that was allotted to it in a government building here, with the newspaper owners claiming that the due process of law was not followed.

The Estates Department sealed the office of 'Kashmir Times' at Press Enclave here on Monday, officials said.

They, however, gave no reasons for the government action.

The English daily is headquartered in Jammu and is published from both the regions of the Union Territory.

The newspaper owners claimed that no notice of cancellation or eviction was served on them and "nothing in writing" was given to them.

“Our office in Srinagar was locked without any due process of law. No notice – whether of cancellation or eviction – was served to us,” Kashmir Times owner Anuradha Bhasin told PTI over phone.

Bhasin said they had heard murmurs about the government planning to evict them from the building at the Press Enclave a month back, but there was no formal communication from the Estates Department.

“We had approached the Estates Department and asked them to please serve us the order, but they gave us nothing. Then we approached the court, but no order has been given even there,” she said.

She said the locking up of the Srinagar office of the newspaper was something similar to her recent eviction from a flat in Jammu.

"The government has the right to evict an allottee, but there is a certain criterion and they have to follow the due process," she said.

“However, the due process has not been followed in my particular case,” she added.

Bhasin termed the move as "vendetta" against her "for speaking out against the government” and moving the Supreme Court against media restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre abrogated Article 370 in August last year.

“The day I went to court last year, that very day, the state government advertisements to Kashmir Times were stopped,” she said.

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