Srinagar: After two months of clampdown on the media in Kashmir, working journalists and local editors came out on the streets carrying banners asking the authorities to lift the “curbs” on their movement and also on internet and mobile services.
The agitating journalists claimed that they had met the authorities several times and had been assured that mobile phones services and internet of journalists would be restored. Members of the Kashmir Press Club had met IGP Kashmir S.P. Pani who assured them that they would be given mobile telephones and internet services to perform their professional duties. However, till date, they claimed, that the services have not been restored and this has forced the journalists to take to the streets to demand the lifting of curbs on their movement and telecommunication services.
Talking to the media, these journalists said that it was almost impossible for them to report the “realities” from Kashmir in the absence of free movement to report from any part of Kashmir and no mobile network services.
Some of the journalists further claimed that they got news reports from the other districts of Kashmir days after the events had happened due to the lack of telecommunication facilities and curbs on free movement of journalists.
In the past two months, no local newspaper has been able to upload the e-paper. Manzoor Anjum, editor of a local Urdu daily Uqab, told The Sunday Guardian that these curbs had affected local papers the most. Many local editors also said that the two months of clampdown had also adversely affected their advertisement support from the private sector.
The government had created a media facilitation centre at a local hotel in Srinagar and had installed eight computers for more than 300 journalists and newspapers to report and download matter for their newspapers. The facilitation centre started since the abrogation of Article 370. However, the journalists claimed that it was not a media facilitation centre, but a “media monitoring centre” set up by the government to keep an eye on their news reports.