Srinagar: PDP, the main opposition in Jammu
and Kashmir, on Saturday condemned what it called the "media gag"
imposed in the state that has resulted in total blackout of
news in local newspapers.
It is unprecedented for the state that local newspapers
have failed to hit the stands for the third succesive day
because of government "curbs", PDP spokesman Naeem Akhtar said
in a statement here.
Alleging that the government had created all kinds of
hurdles for media persons to prevent them from carrying out
their professional duties, he said many of them had even
suffered physical assaults at the hands of government forces.
"The harassment had become official with the registration
of FIR against the staffers of a private TV channel," he said
in reference to the FIR lodged against NewsX and its
correspondents for running a wrong news about the death of a
youth in police firing despite repeated assertions by police
that no such incident had taken place.
He said, "Misktakes were not unknown in reporting
disturbed situtions especially when the government had
deliberately curbed travel and other means of communications.
In the light of the circumstances and the apology tendered by
the channel there is no reason for the FIR having been
Akhtar alleged that after launching a war against the
people, the state had gone after the press to prevent it from
discharging its duties in an unfettered manner.
Expressing solidarity with the media persons he hoped the
government would see reason and restore a semblance of
democratic character to the system by lifting the curbs.