Srinagar: The pro-freedom camp on Monday condemned the ban on a daily newspaper ‘Kashmir Reader’ by government while terming it an attack on the freedom of press and “frustration” of the state administration.
Ban ‘autocratic, undemocratic’: Geelani
Condemning what it termed as “autocratic and undemocratic” decision of government, Chairman Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani in a statement issued to GNS said it is “one of the darkest chapters in the history of press in Jammu and Kashmir”.
“It is another indication of the Indian occupational authorities taking off their masks of democracy, law, and constitutionality thereby showing their true repressive nature. It isn’t thus ironical that the stated reason for banning this popular newspaper is ‘possible incitement to violence and disturbing peace’,” he said.
Geelani said the Indian state and its quislings in Jammu and Kashmir want to enforce the peace of dead through violence and repression, and anyone raising voice against that (either by reporting or writing) is considered a threat. “This is a state terrorism,” he said, adding,”This shameful and barbaric act must be opposed.”
The pro-freedom leader said he “expresses unflinching solidarity” with Kashmir Reader and hopes the press in Jammu and Kashmir “opposes this dark deed and expresses fearless and steadfast support” with the newspaper.
It exposed the champions of ‘Battle of Ideas’, says Shabir Shah
Terming the ban as “frustration” of the government, the incarcerated chairman of Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) Shabir Ahmad Shah said the champions of ‘Battle of Ideas’ have been “exposed”.
In a statement issued to GNS, Shah said: “The champions of ‘Battle of Ideas’ are suppressing the newspapers in order to cover up their atrocities on people. It is extremely shameful on part of those raising slogans like ‘battle of ideas’, so-called ‘vision’, ‘no bullets but talks’, and other deceptive mottos that they now resorted to such cheap tactics.”
“Such ban is a murder of the basic rights of people. The world must take notice of such acts. On one hand, we are suppressed militarily and on other, our voices are being strangulated so that these don’t reach the world,” Shah said.
‘Press fraternity must protest’
Senior APHC leader and chairman Islamic Political Party – JK Mohammad Yousuf Naqash said banning the ‘Kashmir Reader’ reveals the “extreme frustration” of the government and is tantamount to “murder of the freedom of press”.
In a statement issued to GNS, Naqash said by banning a newspaper that “reported truth”, the government has showed there is no freedom of press. “This is a clear case of vengeance,” he said.
“Kashmir Reader has been firmly upholding the principles and ethics of journalism. The so-called government targeted the newspaper for its impartial reporting during the current anti-India uprising. The ban is obviously a revengeful act,” he said.
Naqash urged the press fraternity of Kashmir not to publish newspapers as a mark of protest against what he termed as the direct attack on the fourth estate. “The journalist fraternity should unite at this hour so as to stop the government from continuing with such cheap tactics of muzzling the freedom of press,” he said. (GNS)
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