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National Conference resents shelving popular news programme

Srinagar, July 25, 2007:

The main opposition party in Indian administered Kashmir, National Conference (NC) has resented the reported proposals of taking off air the current affairs programme Shaharbeen form Radio Kashmir, Srinagar.

A newspaper reported today that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, New Delhi was planning to wind up the popular current affairs programme aired by the public broadcaster.

Contrary to most of the programmes aired on the state controlled radio Shaharbeen has been popular for featuring people's problems and for criticising even the government.

Sources say the Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, has been unhappy with the programme's format of taking up peoples issue "which end up highlighting failures of the government".

The chief minister had taken up the issue with the union minister for Information and Broadcasting last year, sources said.

An NC spokesman today criticised the plan to shelve the programme and instead urged I&B minister to strengthen its "independent existence".

The spokesman added that a similar programme highlighting day to day problems of people, 'Aalav' has already been taken off air.

"People have little faith on news items broadcast by All India Radio but off late they have reposed faith in Shaharbeen and Aalav programmes," he said.

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