Clampdown on newsapers in Valley: Venkaiah Naidu speaks to Mehbooba Mufti

With newsapers failing to hit the stands in Kashmir, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and sought details of the matter.

The Minister spoke to Chief Minister last night on the reported “clampdown” on newspapers in the state.

Mehbooba said there was no such ban on the publication of newspapers.

Local newspapers in curfew-bound Kashmir have failed to hit the stands for the last three days after the government’s alleged “clampdown” on the media in the aftermath of widespread protests in the Valley.

Jammu and Kashmir Police had on Friday allegedly closed down the offices of at least two printing presses after seizing plates of newspaper and printed copies in Rangreth Industrial Estate in the outskirts of the city here.

Local news agencies had also said they have stopped their news bulletins after police allegedly asked them not to issue those.

A statement of the newspaper editors, printers and publishers of Kashmir issued here said they strongly “condemned” the alleged government action.

The Editors Guild of India had also condemned the Jammu and Kashmir government for “unwarranted muzzling” of media in the state and termed as “unfortunate” the attempts “to shoot the messenger”.

The unrest in Kashmir also resonated in Rajya Sabha on the opening day of the Monsoon session on Monday, with the House taking up urgent discussion during which the opposition slammed the government and pressed for holding an all-party meet while pitching for a political solution rather than using “barrel of the gun”.

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