#KashmirNow: Media Gagged As Printing Press Offices Raided

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Rising Kashmir Printing Press
An inside view of a Kashmir Printing Press in Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir Government on Friday-Saturday mid-night raided media houses in summer capital and stopped printing of newspapers. Besides it seized thousands of newspaper copies which were ready to be circulated.

At least 40 civilians have been shot dead by government forces during mass protests since July 09 following killing of militant commander Burhan Wani, on July 08, 2016 evening.

Anticipating spread and out pour of protests, cops of Jammu and Kashmir police, at least in 4 vehicles, raided at least two newspaper printing presses in Rangreth Industrial Estate in uptown Srinagar.

The authorities clamped down on media barring it from printing and circulating the newspapers.

A report published online by Kashmir’s top newspaper Greater Kashmir said that police raided its Corporate office at Rangreth on city outskirts and arrested three employees of the Greater Kashmir Printing Press.

“The Policemen (20 in number) seized the plates of Greater Kashmir and more than 50,000 printed copies of Kashmir Uzma and closed down the printing press,” the news report said.

Hawkers at work
Hawkers at work

Government snapped mobile internet on last Saturday while private mobile network was snapped on Thursday across Kashmir.

Owner of KT Press, Raja Mohi ud Din said that cops raided his printing press at Rangreth and arrested its staff as well.

“The printing press was closed down to my utter surprise when I reached the office at Rangreth,” he said, “the police have seized newspaper copies which were printed in thousands besides printing material and printing plates of a few newspapers too were ready which also have been taken away by police.” He said that his staff including foreman, machine man and helper were detained by police.

KT press prints Kashmir Reader, Tameel-e-Irshad, Kashmir Times, Kashmir Observer, The Kashmir Monitor, Brighter Kashmir, Mission Kashmir and Kashmir Age.

“I ringed a few top cops but they didn’t respond,” he said, “I tried to know the reason behind the raid.”

Around half a dozen cops made a surprise appearance in press colony around 4 AM when they seized copies of Rising Kashmir. “We reached Lal Chowk ten minutes ago and now we were readying to distribute the newspaper that police men from Budgam police station seized the newspaper copies,” an RK staffer said.

The police men walked through the Mushtaq Enclave before driving back to Budgam.

Similar scenes were witnessed at Janta Agencies opposite to Government Women’s College at M A Road where a police jeep from Kothibagh Police Station was positioned against the major newspaper distributing agency. “Daily Aftab and a few other newspapers were seized from here,” a hawker said, “police didn’t allow us to take newspapers.”

Scores of hawkers were seen waiting near Lambert Lane near Regal Chowk. Lambert Lane is another major newspaper distributing hub. The policemen suddenly stopped their jeep at the spot and searched for the newspapers.

PS: This news report was updated from time to time.

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