Govt employing coercive tactics to muzzle media in Kashmir: NC

Srinagar: National Conference on Friday expressed dismay over the coercive tactics the government is employing to muzzle the media fraternity in Kashmir, terming the unannounced censorship in volition to the right to free speech and democracy.

NC spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar while renouncing the coercive tactics of the government to muzzle media from rendering its duties in a free and fair manner said that various coercive tactics were being employed by the administration from disabling them to do their duties freely.

“Earlier the JK administration came up with a new media policy which evoked wide condemnation from all quarters. The policy makes it easier for the government to go after reporters and publications that do not toe the state’s line. Now, the administration has reached a new low by asking the media fraternity to vacate government accommodations. The measure should not be seen in isolation, it is the part of the larger pressure tactics to muzzle and curb free speech,” he said.

The treatment meted out to Kashmir Times Editor Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal and to a local news agency are two cases in point. “In both cases the due procedure of law has not been followed. Earlier also many correspondents working with various media houses were also told to vacate their government allotted accommodations.

Media fraternity in Kashmir is already working in tough situations; the administration far from augmenting facilities available to media fraternity is dislodging them and subjecting them to undue tribulations. A free and fair media is symbolic of a democratic society. Unfortunately in this part of the world basic freedom and rights seem to have gone for a toss,” he added.

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