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PC, NC hit out at J&K admin over new media policy

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Srinagar: The People’s Conference and National Conference on Wednesday hit out at the Jammu and Kashmir administration over its new media policy.

People’s Conference spokesman Adnan Ashraf claimed that with the new media policy, “India now joins the notorious club of the most repressive regimes of the world, in terms of freedom of expression”.

“The new media policy is plain censorship where the government defines the ethics of journalism. (The) Government wants to see reality not as it exists but as it wants to see it exist. The policy gives them the power to decide what is fake and unethical. And no prizes for guessing, anything remotely true or critical of the government will be categorised as fake or anti-national news,” Ashraf said in a statement.

“The new media policy is a new low – a lowest of the low- which will herald the darkest era of curbing press freedom wherein the government will script custom made versions of reality,” he said.

PC spokesperson said it is a “sad day for democracy and freedom of expression”.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference also took strong exception to the new media policy and termed it an assault on the freedom of speech and the role of press in democracy.

“Press is meant to agitate, investigate, scrutinize institutions and individuals, Government and others. Freedom of press is what underlines the difference between democracy and despotism; it is the lifeblood of democracy”, said party spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar.

He said that having government to decide what “fake, unethical and antinational” is will jeopardize the free working of press.

“Therefore the policy should immediately be rolled back for the furtherance of democracy and freedom of speech and free working of press,” he added.

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