Kashmir unrest: Newspapers fail to hit the stands for 6th consecutive day

Local newspapers in curfew-bound Kashmir Valley failed to hit the stands for the sixth consecutive day on Wednesday, even as the state government said there were no restrictions on their printing and publishing.

PTI July 20, 2016 13:00:05 IST
Kashmir unrest: Newspapers fail to hit the stands for 6th consecutive day

Srinagar: Local newspapers in curfew-bound Kashmir Valley failed to hit the stands for the sixth consecutive day on Wednesday, even as the state government said there were no restrictions on their printing and publishing.

No local newspaper – whether English, Urdu or Kashmiri – was available in the Valley as the newspaper owners decided
not to publish them after the alleged clampdown by the government on Friday night and demanded that the government
must "own the ban" and issue a statement guaranteeing that media operations will not be hampered in any way.

Kashmir unrest Newspapers fail to hit the stands for 6th consecutive day

Curfew has been in place in Kashmir. Representational image. AFP

The newspaper owners claimed that police raided their printing facilities and seized newspapers, plates and even
detained the printing staff last week.

Following the police action, a meeting of Kashmir-based newspaper editors, printers and publishers, was held on Saturday at Press Colony in which the issue was discussed.

The journalists also held a protest against the government action, terming it as an attack on the freedom of press and stopped their publications.

However, on Tuesday, the government said there were no restrictions on printing and publishing of newspapers. "The District Magistrates of Srinagar and Budgam have clarified that there are no restrictions on printing and publishing of newspapers in the districts," an official spokesman said on Wednesday.

A statement issued by the owners and editors of Srinagar-based newspapers on Tuesday said since the government has "not changed its press emergency", the editors and the owners of the newspapers regret that it may not be possible to resume the publication of newspapers.

"On Monday, Chief Minister’s Adviser Amitabh Mattoo approached us insisting that it was a mistake for which he apologized.

"At the same time, however, the state government resorted to propaganda blitzkrieg insisting that there was no ban. They used all the available media to hit the credibility of the newspapers that have a history of not ceasing publication even when their members were killed," the statement said.

It said the government must "own the ban" and issue a statement guaranteeing that "media operations are not being hampered from the movement of staff, to newsgathering, printing and the distribution of the newspapers".

"We have not heard anything from anybody in the government since then. It indicates that the government has not changed its press emergency," the statement said.

The newspaper editors and owners said "we will review the progress (on Wednesday)," they said.

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