The Bold Voice of J&K

No ban on newspapers: Mehbooba to Naidu

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New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir government has told the Centre that there is no ban on publication of newspapers in the Valley, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Tuesday, amid the alleged clampdown on media in Kashmir.
“I spoke to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti last night. As the Information and Broadcasting Minister, I spoke to her about such reports and she told me no such decision has been taken. ‘It won’t happen,’ she told me. She assured me there is no such ban,” Naidu told reporters.
When asked about the unrest in the Valley, he shot back, saying media should pay attention to what is happening in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.
Local newspapers have failed to hit stands for the last three days in curfew-bound Kashmir after the government’s alleged clampdown on the media in the wake of widespread protests in the Valley.
Jammu and Kashmir Police had on Friday allegedly closed down the offices of at least two printing presses after seizing plates of newspaper and printed copies in Rangreth Industrial Estate on the outskirts of the city here.

Newspapers in Kashmir not to come out even today
Srinagar: Newspaper publishers and editors in Kashmir on Tuesday decided not to come out with their publications for the fifth day on Wednesday, alleging that the PDP-BJP government was not speaking in one voice and not owning up the “press emergency” imposed by it.
The decision was taken after a two-hour meeting of owners and editors of newspapers who met here to take stock of the situation, especially after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s advisor Amitabh Mattoo had personally met them and “apologised”.
The announcement came hours after Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said in Delhi that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had told him there was no ban on publication of newspapers in the Valley.
The meeting, which was called for reviewing the ‘press emergency’ imposed by the government on printing and distribution of newspapers, asked the state government to own up the raids that were carried out on the printing presses during the intervening night of July 15 and 16 when printed newspapers and plates were seized, and even the printing staff was detained.
Later, Education Minister Naeem Akther had met the editors and asked them not to bring out editions for next three days as movement of newspaper staff and distribution of newspapers was not possible because of strict curfew restrictions across the Kashmir Valley. “One finds it surprising that the advisor came and apologised for the mistake and later went to town saying that there was no ban on newspaper and that the Chief Minister was not aware that the newspapers did not publish for last three days,” Editor of Kashmir Images Bashir Manzar said after the meeting. While Mattoo was apologising on one end, “the state government resorted to propaganda blitzkrieg insisting that there was no ban.”
“They used all the available media to hit the credibility of the newspapers that have a history of not ceasing publication even when their members were killed,” a release issued by the association said.
The association has taken the issue “very seriously” and conveyed to Mattoo that the state government “must own up the ban and issue a statement guaranteeing that media operations will not be hampered, from the movement of staff, which includes news gathering, printing and the distribution of the newspapers

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