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Kashmir newspapers suspend production to protest curbs

But owners say they will not be able to resume publication unless all staff return to work. Media groups across India have criticised the curbs.

On Friday, a BBC Urdu service journalist, Riaz Masroor, was stopped and beaten by police as he was going to collect his curfew pass.

He suffered a fractured arm.

In the past month, 14 civilians have died in clashes between protesters and the security forces.

'Curfew widened'

Meanwhile, authorities have extended a curfew to cover 15 towns in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley.

The curfew has been in place for the past three days in Srinagar.

"We have widened the curfew to ensure a violence-free Friday," news agency AFP quoted an unnamed police officer as saying.

Towns such as Kupwara and Handwara in the north, Kakpora and Pulwama in the south and Ganderbal in the east have now been placed under curfew.

On Wednesday, army soldiers marched through Srinagar in a show of force to help quell street protests.

Correspondents say the Indian government is concerned over the situation, especially as the country's foreign minister is due to hold talks with Pakistan next week.

Kashmir is an issue that has long affected relations between the two countries - both claim the territory in its entirety.

The Indian government has already accused Pakistan-based militant groups of instigating the latest protests.

(source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/10570903.stm)

 

Newspapers stop publications in Held Kashmir

* Kashmiri journalists say they were issued insufficient curfew passes

By Iftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI: Publishers of Srinagar-based newspapers on Saturday decided to suspend their publications to protest against harassment by the Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) government.

Newspaper publishers, editors, reporters and photo-journalists, who held a protest in the Press Enclave area on Saturday in Srinagar, described the current restrictions as "unprecedented". "We had to suspend our publications for two days because of cancellation of curfew passes. We were issued insufficient number of passes with the result that no newspaper could be published on Saturday," said leading journalist Zafar Meraj, editor of the English daily Kashmir Monitor. Local journalists also protested against the decision of police to lodge a first information report (FIR) against the reporter of a New Delhi-based TV channel News X. The FIR was lodged against a media report that a youth, who was injured by firing of the security forces, had died on Saturday.

"The news report was factually incorrect, motivated and loaded with malicious intentions to vitiate the law and order situation in the valley," said a senior police officer, defending the decision to book the reporter. But the journalists, however, said the channel and its reporters were being punished, as it was the only Indian channel airing the IHK situation factually and without any bias.

"The decision was unanimously taken at a joint meeting of five representative bodies of the media fraternity to suspend the publication," said a resolution passed at the end of the meeting. The media bodies said the publication would be resumed only after the authorities take concrete actions. They also alleged that while local journalists were being harassed, those coming from New Delhi were enjoying full facilities and hospitality of the government.

"Issues confronting the media fraternity were discussed in detail, particularly the brazen action against News X correspondent Suhail Bukhari and other members of the organisation, who have been booked under numerous draconian laws. Fearing their lives, News X has shut its office in Srinagar, as members of the staff were being harassed," the resolution added.

"The government has adopted a discriminatory attitude and not only facilitated the entry of New Delhi-based journalists but has put all help, assistance and full government hospitality at their disposal so as to ensure the coverage of the events, as it deems suitable," the media bodies alleged.

(source: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\07\11\story_11-7-2010_pg7_30)

 

J&K media bodies denounce government claim

SHUJAAT BUKHARI

Five representative bodies of newspaper owners, editors, working journalists, photo journalists and video journalists on Friday denounced the government claim that restrictions on media had been lifted. They decided to suspend the publication of newspapers for Saturday in view of the insufficient number of curfew passes issued and continued attacks on media.

For the last two days no newspaper could hit the stands in Srinagar since the government withdrew curfew passes and banned the movement of journalists.

President Kashmir Press Association Ghulam Hassan Kaloo, President Press Guild of Kashmir, Bashir Ahmad Bashir, President of Kashmir Journalists Corps Ishfaqul Hassan, President of Kashmir Press Photographers Association Farooq Javed and President of Kashmir Video Journalists Association S. Tariq in a joint statement termed the government announcement as mere eye wash to counter the condemnation from journalist bodies at the national and international levels.

A joint statement issued by the five organisations said a joint meeting could not be held due to the restrictions. The members then held deliberations on the telephone and the issue of continued restrictions was discussed threadbare. The government’s discriminatory attitude towards Kashmir-based media persons — who were denied access to information and events — as against journalists from Delhi was also discussed.

“Curfew passes were cancelled, media persons were beaten and forced to remain in-doors and the government has the cheek to say that there were no restrictions,” the statement said, adding, “Even when the members of five organisations were discussing the situation, one senior journalist Riyaz Masroor was beaten and left with a fractured arm,” the statement said.

Though the government claimed that curfew passes were issued to Editors of the newspapers and few accredited journalists, the statement said it was only to deceive those national and international bodies who had extended solidarity to hundreds of Kashmiri journalists who continue to be under siege.

Few passes; movement restricted

“It is not the Editor who can bring out a newspaper. There are other people — people involved with desk-top printing, lay-out designing, printing, distribution — who make the publication possible. Issuing a few curfew passes is not going to help publication,” the statement said.

The statement also said members of the newspaper staff who were stuck in different curfew-hit areas are unable to report due to passes not reaching them. Similarly the working journalists are facing problems in moving to offices and other places to get information.

Deliberating upon these issues, the statement said it was not humanly possible to publish and then circulate the newspapers given the restrictions and therefore there would be no newspaper on Saturday too.

The statement also said that members of all five organisations will have another meeting on Saturday to review the situation and chalk out the future strategy accordingly.

Senior journalist beaten-up

Even as the authorities claimed to have issued a few curfew passes to media persons in Kashmir, a senior journalist was severely beat up by the police on Friday.

Riyaz Masroor, a senior journalist working with the Urdu service of BBC, claimed he was beaten up by police outside his Alocha Bagh residence here.

“I received a phone call from the Information Department this morning asking me to come and collect the fresh curfew passes. As soon as I reached near the main road, policemen stopped me and beat me up ruthlessly,” he said.

He said he has received multiple injuries and his left arm has been fractured in the assault.

Condemning the attack, journalist organisations expressed solidarity with all the media persons who were brutalised during these days by armed forces.

(Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article507464.ece)

 

Srinagar newspapers suspend publication

Srinagar, July 10 (IANS) The editors of Srinagar-based vernacular and English newspapers Saturday announced the suspension of their publications to protest the alleged harassment by the Jammu and Kashmir administration.

Newspaper editors, reporters and photo-journalists held a protest march in the Press Enclave area on Residency Road Saturday afternoon accusing the administration of harassing the media.

“We had to suspend our publications for two days because of cancellation of curfew passes. We were issued insufficient number of passes yesterday (Friday) with the result that no newspaper could be published here today (Saturday),” said Zafar Meraj, editor of English daily Kashmir Monitor.

“We have been facing constant harassment from the state government and unless we are assured such attitude towards the local press would change, we have decided to suspend our publications.”

The local media persons also protested the decision of the police to lodge a first information report (FIR) against the reporter of New Delhi-based television news channel News X.

The FIR was lodged for reporting that a youth injured in security forces firing had died Saturday in the hospital.

“The news report was factually incorrect, motivated and loaded with malicious intention to vitiate the law and order situation in the Valley,” said a senior police officer, defending the decision to book the reporter.

(Source: http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/india-news/srinagar-newspapers-suspend-publication_100393804.html)

 

Country without NEWSPAPER

Shut Up Kashmir, Delhi Will Do All The Talking!

FOR three consecutive days Kashmir went without newspapers, thanks to the restrictions imposed by the law and order agencies over the media. For the first two days, curfew passes were straightaway cancelled. The third day, as an act of great favour, just a few curfew passes were issued, as if a one page poster was to be brought out in the morning. Who do they try to fool! So effectively media was denied to work for all the three days. Even before it was made extremely difficult for the media to work on ground and gather news. Photo journalists were thrashed when they were doing their routine work. Pertinent to mention that copies of Greater Kashmir and Kashimr Uzma were disallowed distribution when the vehicles carrying the copies were stopped from moving ahead to their distribution points. That was last week, and we at Greater Kashmir had made an editorial note of it. But who listens to a voice from Kashmir, no matter how sane it is. Kashmir is a place where laws, rules and politico-administrative ethics have been sent on exile. That is why a single missive from administration makes the local cable operated TV channels squeeze the news bulletin to just ten minutes. Hold on, major chunk of this time slot is to be dedicated to the coverage of government activity. Can it get more ludicrous than this! As if it’s war time, authorities who actually rule Kashmir have decided that not a single word should come out of the battle ground. In this modern age of information technology authorities in Kashmir are trying to act in ways that reek of the times of Great Wars. Media must be disallowed to speak about what is happening around, because war entails measures that in all likelihood invite public wrath. Thought even in war rooms such a brute mind is a rarity, but in Kashmir everything is placed upside down.

Yet Indian TV channels were full with the news from Kashmir, someone might cut us with the caveat. Far from being a saving grace for the authorities it actually alludes towards how nasty things have turned in Kashmir. Media has insidiously been categorized into local, meaning Kashmiri, and national, meaning Indian. It’s an evil division in which Subjects are disallowed the same activity which is being facilitated for the darling guys of Rulers. On a more practical note it serves authorities a great purpose. They have apportioned both sides of the table to themselves. They want to negotiate things between themselves, avowedly for us. That is a mockery of cruel proportions. They cover the news by way of covering it up. They twist it in ways that suits them the most. In the Gulf War we came to know about embedded journalism. What is this- give us a name!

(Source: http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2010/Jul/11/country-without-newspaper-25.asp)

 

Srinagar newspapers suspend publication

Srinagar: The editors of Srinagar-based vernacular and English newspapers on Saturday announced the suspension of their publications to protest the alleged harassment by the Jammu and Kashmir administration.

Newspaper editors, reporters and photo-journalists held a protest march in the Press Enclave area on Residency Road on Saturday afternoon accusing the administration of harassing the media.

'We had to suspend our publications for two days because of cancellation of curfew passes. We were issued insufficient number of passes yesterday (Friday) with the result that no newspaper could be published here today (Saturday),' said Zafar Meraj, editor of English daily Kashmir Monitor.

'We have been facing constant harassment from the state government and unless we are assured such attitude towards the local press would change, we have decided to suspend our publications.'

The local media persons also protested the decision of the police to lodge a first information report (FIR) against the reporter of New Delhi-based television news channel News X.

The FIR was lodged for reporting that a youth injured in security forces firing had died on Saturday in the hospital.

'The news report was factually incorrect, motivated and loaded with malicious intention to vitiate the law and order situation in the Valley,' said a senior police officer, defending the decision to book the reporter.

(Source: http://sify.com/news/srinagar-newspapers-suspend-publication-news-national-khkuacbbdde.html)

 

Case against TV channel for running incorrect news

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Police today registered a case against a private television channel for allegedly instigating violence in a district in South kashmir by running incorrect news about the death of a person in police firing.

An FIR was filed in main Pulwama town police station against NewsX and its correspondents for running a wrong news about the death of a youth in police firing despite repeated assertions by police that no such incident had taken place.

The news led to an angry protest in the district leading to imposition of curfew in the area again this morning besides leaving some security personnel injured in stone-pelting.

District officials had to go round the town announcing that no one was killed.

The TV channel later aired an apology for running the news.

(Source: http://sify.com/news/case-against-tv-channel-for-running-incorrect-news-news-national-khkmacfjaai.html?tag=Topnews)

 

India Kashmir media suspend publication, stage sit-in

Srinagar, July 10: The media in Indian Kashmir have decided to suspend publication for one more day and mediamen staged a sit-in to protest against the curbs imposed by the government of the region.

The Indian Kashmir government on Wednesday imposed media gag after enforcing tougher curfew in the region to quell protests over killing of teenagers and youngsters. At least four civilians including a 25-year old female were killed in police and paramilitary soldiers firing in Batamaloo and Maisuma areas of Srinagar, the summer capital of India capital, on Tuesday.

To prevent people from taking to roads, authorities imposed tougher curfew. The mediamen were not allowed curfew passes to discharge their professional duties. Owing to the curfew and tougher security restriction, no local English and Urdu newspaper could be published for third day in succession on Saturday.

This was for the first time after 2008 land row agitation that newspapers could not be published in Indian Kashmir owing to curfew and media curbs. During the land agitation row, the newspapers in Indian Kashmir could not be published for eight days owing to security restrictions.

Although the curfew was relaxed yesterday evening for 24 hours but the newspaper as a mark of protest suspended their publication on Saturday.

The editors, working journalists, photo journalists and video journalists held an emergency meeting on Saturday afternoon to discuss the prevailing media curbs imposes by the authorities. “We have decided to suspend publication till Sunday and will review the situation tomorrow,” a joint statement issued said.

It said government should guarantee the security and safety of the journalists and should not hamper them from discharging their professional duties. “We will again meet tomorrow to chalk future strategy,” the statement said.

At least 15 journalists including some photo-journalists were injured in police and paramilitary action on Tuesday. The journalists were covering clashes between angry youth and soldiers in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir.

Meanwhile, most of the journalists of Indian Kashmir representing various local, Indian and international print and electronic media staged a peaceful sit-in demonstration to protest the media curbs.

Tying a piece of black cloth around their mouth and wearing black arm bands, the media men staged a peaceful-sit and demanded that the media curbs be lifted. They demanded that they be allowed to discharge their duties in professional manner without any hurdles.

(source: http://www.nationalturk.com/en/india-kashmir-media-suspend-publication-stage-sit-in-35687648)

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