Journalists protest ban on Kashmir Reader

Srinagar: Journalists on Friday staged a sit-in again at Lal Chowk here as a mark of protest against ‘arbitrary and undemocratic” ban on publication of daily Kashmir Reader.

According to news agency GNS, the journalists assembled at Press Enclave and held a brief sit-in. They were carrying banners and placards to denounce what they called undemocratic and unethical ban.

The protesting journalists were carrying placards which read ‘Withdraw gag on media’, ‘Withdraw ban on Kashmir Reader’, ‘end curbs on Kashmir Reader’ and “End Gag on Kashmir Reader’.

The journalist fraternity said that the protests will continue until the gag order is not revoked by the authorities.

The ban on Kashmir Reader has already evoked widespread criticism, both in national and international media.

In an editorial, Deccan Herald said that bans on newspapers and media channels, censorship and other methods are against the spirit of democracy and a violation of the fundamental right to freedom of expression. “Governments in Kashmir have resorted to all these methods in the past. The ban on Kashmir Reader was imposed arbitrarily,” it said.

It said the government clamped down on the newspaper perhaps was to send out a warning to others.

“The media is under heavy pressure in Kashmir. Some weeks ago, the government had shut down all printing presses and temporarily banned all newspapers for three days. Other channels of information including social media have also faced controls and curbs,” it said and underlined that media freedom is especially relevant and important in disturbed conditions like those in Kashmir. “Violation of normal constitutional rights can only worsen the situation, and it cannot be justified on any pretext,” it added.