Kashmiri papers carry blank front pages to protest ‘ad ban’ | Daily News

Kashmiri papers carry blank front pages to protest ‘ad ban’

The blank front pages of newspapers in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.
The blank front pages of newspapers in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.

Local newspapers in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday published blank front pages to protest the “unexplained” ban of government advertisements to two main English dailies — Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader.

“In protest against unexplained denial of government advertisements to Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader – Kashmir Editors Guild,” was the only sentence published to note the protest on the newspapers.

Among the 15 newspapers that protested include top English dailies such as the Kashmir Monitor, Greater Kashmir, Kashmir Reader, Kashmir Images, Kashmir Vision and Kashmir Observer and Urdu newspapers such as the Srinagar Times, Kashmir Uzma, Afaaq, Aqaab and Taimeeli Irshad.

The protest comes on the back of a statement issued by Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) on Friday. “At a time when world’s largest democracy is readying for one of the major electoral exercises on earth, the Kashmir Editors Guild is lamenting over the continued denial and unexplained halt to the rightful disbursal of government advertisements to Kashmir’s two major daily newspapers,” read the statement by the KEG.

The spokesperson of the KEG, Shafat Kira, said it had been seeking an explanation from the Jammu and Kashmir administration, but since there has been no response, the papers had to protest by publishing blank pages.

“The main objective of our protest is not money through these advertisements but it includes many public interest notifications. By doing this, the government has blocked information to the public,” Kira said. “We were pushed to take this means of protest otherwise we had issued statements earlier also.”

The Jammu and Kashmir administration allegedly stopped the advertisements a day after the deadly Pulwama attacks on February 14, in which at least 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

“There is no official order, which is why KEG and other journalists of the Valley are protesting,” Moazum Mohammad, the President of Kashmir Journalists Association said.

“The editor’s body is hopeful that the government will give it top priority and undo the anti-democratic restrictions,” further reads the statement. (Agencies)


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