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No newspapers in Kashmir today

Srinagar, July 08, 2010:

Newspapers have confied to online updates
Newspapers in Indian administered Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar failed to hit the stands today, as authorities put strict restrictions on the movement of journalists amid a curfew in the region.

Two major English language newspapers from the region, Greater Kashmir and Rising Kashmir stuck to limited updates on their websites.

The government called in army Tuesday night after four more people died in police action on protestors.

Curfew passes of all journalists were cancelled and journalists were not allowed to move out of homes or offices.

Policemen snatched cameras and equipments from a few television reporters and forced everyone indoors at the Press Colony, which houses most media offices in Srinagar.

The Srinagar based associations of journalists have condemned the curbs.

IN a statement issued today the Press Guild of Kashmir described the state action as discriminatory and counter productive. It said while the Srinagar based journalists were denied curfew passes and not allowed to move, journalists flying in from outside were provided all the facilities.

The movement of Srinagar based correspondents of national and international orgnaistions have also been curbed.

“This is sheer discrimination against Srinagar based media persons and media organisations,” the guild spokesman said.

Expressing its concern, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said that she was deeply disturbed at the drastic erosion of the atmosphere for journalism, following month-long civil disturbances in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The IFJ urges authorities in Jammu and Kashmir to follow a policy of transparency and accountability rather than seek to throttle the flow of news, whether good or bad,” Park said.

“The heavy-handed response seen so far creates an atmosphere where rumour and innuendo flourish, further embittering civic relations,” she added.

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