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Editor’s Guild asks J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti to reconsider ban on Kashmir Reader

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New Delhi: The Editor’s Guild of India has asked the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to look into the complaint of daily newspaper published from the state which alleged it had arbitrarily been asked to cease publication. In a statement issued on Monday, the Guild emphasised it believes that any move to obstruct, infringe or impose a ban on the press is an assault on democracy and asked the state government to reconsider its decision. It, however, also put the onus on editors to uphold the best editorial practices.

In the statement, the Guild said it has received an email from Mohammad Hayat, Editor-in-Chief of Kashmir Reader, a daily published from Srinagar, complaining that the J&K Government had ordered it to cease publication till further notice.

Hayat states that order dated October 2 charged the Kashmir Reader with “publishing content that can incite acts of violence” and “disturb public tranquility”, the statement said. Also, the government information department had issued a statement that the order had been issued a week after the Kashmir Reader was served a notice to explain its position on a series of items it published that allegedly disturbed public tranquility, the statement added.

Hayat, the Guild said, states that no such notice was served to him before the “ban” was imposed.

“The Editors Guild of India has always championed the cause of the freedom of the press and believes that any move to obstruct, infringe or impose a ban on the press is an assault on democracy itself,” the statement said.

The Guild has also put the onus on editors to uphold the best journalistic standards of fairness and balance while publishing news, it added. The Editors Guild of India requests the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir to go into the complaint of Hayat that the ban was “arbitrary” and that “no notice was served” before the ban was imposed. “Also to reconsider the order to ban the publication,” the Guild said.

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