Scribes Rally Against the Ban on Kashmir Reader




It is 27th day today that Kashmir Reader did not publish. On 2nd of October, Srinagar District Magistrate served an order to the printer and publisher of the Srinagar-based newspaper directing him to cease the publication with immediate effect citing “contents published by the newspaper can incite violence” – the charge denied by its Editor.

The ban on Kashmir Reader has invited criticism worldwide.

Meanwhile, to seek the removal of ban, the voices from the valley are getting stronger with every passing day.

On Saturday, numerous journalists including senior editors of some reputed news organisations held a protests demonstration in Mushtaq Ali Enclave (Press Enclave) seeking immediate removal of ban on the newspaper.

Since October 2, Journalists have held protests and taken out solidarity marches.

“The ban on Kashmir Reader has exposed the government and its wickedness,” a group of journalists said while marching for the newspaper towards Ghanta Ghar.

This is, perhaps, for the first time that a newspaper has been banned from publishing.

Moazum Mohammad, the senior reporter working with the newspaper said that the newspaper has been banned on flimsy grounds. “This has drawn back home the conclusion that the so-called democratic institutions are a disaster in Kashmir,” he said.

Decrying the ban, scribes have held scores of solidarity marches in Lal Chowk since October 2 to seek attention of the government.

The Editors Guild of Kashmir also took the matter with the authorities, but there has been hardly any breakthrough yet.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) have also decried the ban. In a statement on October 07, the Journalist forums said that they were “gravely” concerned over the “infringement” of press freedom.

“The ban on publication without proven evidence of incitement to violence, as the Kashmir Reader has been accused of, is censorship and against the principles of democracy and press freedom,” SAMSN said.

“In an already polarised situation,” the SAMSN had said, “the ban on the (Kashmir) Reader is arbitrary and goes against the democratic spirit of allowing a diversity of voices to flourish in the public domain.”

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