Kashmiri newspapers publish blank front pages to protest ban on government ads post Pulwama terror attack

Several Kashmiri newspapers in the valley on Sunday published blank front pages to protest the ‘unexplained ban’ on the government ads to Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.

Notable among them were Greater Kashmir, ObserverKashmir Reader, Kashmir Monitor and Kashmir Vision. Front pages of these newspapers simply read, “In protest against unexplained denial of government advertisements to Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader.”

The extraordinary protest by these newspapers have followed an angry reaction by the Kashmir Editors Guild, which had recently written to the Press Council of India expressing its disenchantment over the ‘unexplained’ move by the government.

The statement by the KEG had said, “The enigmatic decision is directly hitting the constitutional guarantees that encourage free media in democratic societies. We had requested the authorities to at least offer us a reason for why the advertisements were stopped, without intimation and reason. We have not been given an iota of reason, so far.”

The statement by the KEG had said that the ban ‘deprived the two publications of the rightful revenue stream and has started hurting the state and status of journalism in Kashmir.’

The government’s decision to single out two newspapers had also evoked angry reactions from two former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, namely Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah.

“Greater Kashmir is one of the most popular local dailies of J&K. Centre’s decision to stop ads to it should be viewed in context of their attitude towards press & electronic media in general. Kowtow to their warped agenda & sing praises. Or else suffer,” Mufti tweeted.

Abdullah, for his part said, “A development that has got almost no coverage outside of the valley. The government is attempting to choke the media by denying them advertising revenues. I hope the Centre & State immediately reverse this decision of trying to silence the forth estate.”

Jammu and Kashmir is currently under the Governor’s rule with the Centre’s Narendra Modi government in charge of the state’s administration.

Source: jantakareporter.com


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