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SRINAGAR

KL Image: Saqib Makhdoomi/Kashmir Reader
KL Image: Saqib Makhdoomi/Kashmir Reader

Kashmir Reader, a Srinagar based English newspaper, continues to be banned from publication on twelfth day on Friday despite protests and criticism by Journalists bodies across Kashmir.

Journalists in Kashmir continued to hold protests today against ‘attack’ on the fourth estate of democracy.

Scores of Journalists working in Kashmir assembled at Mushtaq Ali Enclave (Press Colony) and held a silent protest demonstration. They were carrying placards which sought immediate removal of the ban.

The protest by the working Journalists in Kashmir continued since October 3rd. However, the editor of Kashmir Reader said that they expected a breakthrough when Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) met Chief Minister on Oct 08. KEG is top body of editors of Kashmir based newspapers.

It is first such an extreme action by state in last thirty years that a newspaper has been banned in Kashmir. However, newspapers have been facing intermittent closures after government clampdown.

The banned Kashmir Reader hit Kashmir markets in May 2013, however, on Oct 2, five cops walked up to its Batamaloo office and handed over an order from District Magistrate Srinagar directing its printer and publisher to cease its publication with immediate effect.

The government order read that the “content published by the Kashmir Reader can incite violence”. The charge rejected by its editor. The government has not cited any particular evidence for imposing the ban on its publication.

KEG has termed the ban on Kashmir Reader as “vague and unclear about the charges for which such a harsh step has been taken”.

Global Journalist bodies and watch dog Amnesty International has termed ban on the newspaper “infringement of freedom of expression”.

India’s top Journalist body – Editors Guild of India – has also asked Chief Minister to review ban on the newspaper.

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