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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 45, New Delhi, October 24, 2020

Statement by The Editors Guild on the Sealing of the Srinagar offices of Kashmir Times | October 22, 2020

Saturday 24 October 2020

The Editors Guild of India

PRESS STATEMENT

October 22, 2020

The unprecedented and sudden sealing of the Srinagar offices of Kashmir Times is reprehensible, and has disturbing implications for the media of the two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Newspapers and Magazines in the undivided state of Jammu and Kashmir were already ravaged by conflict, with editors and correspondents working against difficult odds.

Publications have steadily lost advertising over the last decade. Jammu and Kashmir’s communication shutdowns, followed by the pandemic lockdown, have totally stopped the trickle of revenue. The online editions are crippled by the slow internet speed imposed by the government. The Kashmir Times, a 55-year-old publication, was forced to shut down its Srinagar edition in March.

Instead of assisting the media, which was most needed in these dark times, the administration without any notice took control of the office of Kashmir Times, putting its lock on the door. The newspaper editor, Ms. Anuradha Bhasin, and the staff have been denied access to records, computers, furniture and equipment in the office.

The Editors Guild of India considers the action of state administration vindictive and injurious not just to the Kashmir Times, but also to the entire free media in the Union Territory. The Guild calls upon the government of Jammu and Kashmir to restore status quo, and to create circumstances in which media can function without hindrance and without fear.

Seema Mustafa, President
Sanjay Kapoor, General Secretary
Anant Nath, Treasurer

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