Row over radio program featuring Mirwaiz
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Last Updated: Thursday, August 18, 2011, 22:10
Srinagar: Authorities here have directed a private FM station to take off the air a religious programme in which moderate Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq used to answer questions from the people about Islam.

'Big Noon Chai', a three-hour show aired every morning featuring the Hurriyat Chairman in his capacity as the chief cleric of Kashmir , was stopped by the FM station owned by Reliance yesterday.

The staffers at the radio station, on condition of anonymity, said they were "pressured by government agencies to stop the show".

However, none of the staffers was willing to talk about the issue on record. They directed all the queries to Corporate Public Relations head in Mumbai but repeated calls to the contact person failed to evoke a response.

Meanwhile, the Mirwaiz condemned the 'ban' on the show. "After being informed by the Reliance FM team that a ban has been put in place on the socio-religious series underway on Big FM for the month of Ramadan, it shows to what extent surveillance and censorship is enforced and implemented on the people of the Valley by the state and central ruling agencies," he said.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, to a question about Mirwaiz Umar Farooq being off aired from the programme of religious preaching on Radio (FM), said in Jammu that "I have not given any instruction that he (Mirwaiz) should be stopped. Anybody preaching tolerance, peace and message of brotherhood is more than welcomed".

He said the "Mirwaiz was preaching for the first couple of weeks of Ramzan on Radio. I did not hear him. Airwaves are goverened by government of India and possibly excessive highlighting of his report in the newspapers is what cost Mirwaiz his preaching on radio", he said.


First Published: Thursday, August 18, 2011, 22:10

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