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Newspapers fail to hit stands in Kashmir Valley for second day

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Srinagar : Local newspapers failed to hit the stands for the second consecutive day today in curfew-bound Kashmir after the government’s alleged “clampdown” on the media.
No local paper–English, Urdu as well as Kashmiri–was available as the newspaper owners decided not to publish them after authorities yesterday allegedly raided some media houses and seized their printed copies.

Attempts to seek an official version of the events did not fructify.

Jammu and Kashmir Police had allegedly raided the offices of at least two newspaper printing presses in Rangreth Industrial Estate in the outskirts of the city here barring them from printing the newspapers.

Policemen had seized the plates of newspapers and printed copies and closed down the printing presses.

Following the police action, a meeting of Kashmir-based newspaper editors, printers and publishers, was held yesterday at Press Colony in which the issue was discussed.
The journalists also held a protest against the clampdown and termed it as an attack on the freedom of press.

A statement issued by the newspaper editors, printers and publishers of Kashmir said they strongly condemned the government’s action.

It said when they contacted a government spokesperson during the meeting, he conveyed to them that in view of apprehensions of serious trouble in Kashmir Valley in next three days aimed at subverting peace, strict curfew will be imposed and movement of newspaper staff and distribution of newspapers will not be possible.

The publishers said the meeting felt it was not possible to publish the newspapers in view of this direction from the state government.

It said the meeting strongly condemned the action which was not only “reprehensible but also against the norms of a democratic set-up”.

Meanwhile, cable TV services were restored in the Valley late last night after remaining suspended for about 24 hours.

The services were restored last night, an official said.

However, in some areas of the city, Pakistani channels were not being aired.

PTI

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