Row over radio program featuring Mirwaiz

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.

PTI



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