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J&K govt lifts media restrictions

July 09, 2010 13:32 IST
Restrictions on the movement of media persons in the wake of curfew in Srinagar and certain other parts of the valley were lifted on Friday, by the Jammu and Kashmir government, which issued fresh curfew passes to them. Media persons can perform their official duties, an official spokesman said. He said there was no gag order on the media but "we were only enforcing the curfew strictly."

Newspapers failed to hit the stands for the second day in the Kashmir Valley in the wake of the restrictions. The state government had cancelled curfew passes for media personnel on Thursday, affecting their movement. The Editor's Guild of India had asked the Jammu and Kashmir government not to impose restrictions on the media which prevented them from carrying out their duties.

"The guild is concerned over incidents of police high-handedness
towards the media during the recent unrest in the valley," it had said in a statement. A representative body of major print and electronic journalists in the valley, Kashmir Journalists Corps (KJC), had condemned the restrictions on media persons and said that it was a "direct attack on the fourth estate".

The India chapter of the South Asia Media Commission had asked the authorities on Thursday, to restore normal functioning of journalists in the violence-hit state with immediate effect. The last time the newspapers did not come out was in 2008 during the height of the Amarnath land agitation. Publication of dailies at that time was suspended for four days.Newspaper publication had also remained suspended for days during the elections in 1996.
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