Srinagar: Police on Saturday seized copies of major Urdu and English newspapers in the Kashmir Valley following midnight raids on the printing press creating an information blackout as mobile services also remained suspended.
No newspaper – English, Urdu or Kashmiri – was available as the authorities gagged the media in the Valley.
The publishers on their websites have claimed that their print copies were seized and people working for the printing press were also arrested.. However there was no official confirmation of the incident.
“Policemen seized the plates of ‘Greater Kashmir’ and more than 50,000 printed copies of ‘Kashmir Uzma’ (Urdu daily) and closed down the GKC printing press,” a report on the website of Greater Kashmir said.
Another English daily, Kashmir Reader said, “The posse of police seized the copies of Kashmir Reader.” “At 2 a.m., police raided KT printing press at Rangreth and detained eight people while seizing copies of Kashmir Reader,” the daily reported on Kashmirreader.com.
KT press is one of major printing press in the Valley and prints dailies like Kashmir Reader, Tameel-e-Irshad, Kashmir Times, Kashmir Observer, The Kashmir Monitor, Kashmir Observer, Brighter Kashmir and Kashmir Age.
“When we reached press enclave to collect the copies for distribution, the cops had already seized the lot. They also misbehaved with us when we asked why it was being done,” a hawker said.
Mobile network services here were suspended since Thursday evening and the mobile internet was blocked after the 22-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani was killed on July 8.
The hawkers in the Lal Chowk city centre alleged that the police did not allow them to distribute the newspapers and seized their copies.
The unrest in the Valley continued for the seventh day on Saturday. Separatists have urged people to observe the shutdown till Monday. The only mobile service functional in the Valley is Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and the only internet connectivity is the BSNL broadband service .