JKCSF flays denial of govt ads to leading newspapers, vacating GK from its city office

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Srinagar: Expressing anguish over what it termed as a measure to shrink freedom of press in Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir Civil Society Forum (JKCSF) on Friday demanded that the administration should revoke ban on newspaper advertisements and allow them to operate from their offices at Press Enclave.

In a statement issued today, JKCSF chairman Abdul Qayoom Wani said targeting a number of leading newspapers published from Kashmir on one or the other pretext was “undemocratic and autocratic”. He was reacting to the treatment given to the local press in J&K by virtue of forcing them to vacate their functional offices and stopping advertisements.

Wani said first the government stopped advertisements to a number of leading newspapers viz Greater Kashmir, Kashmir Images, Kashmir Reader, Kashmir Life and news agency KNS.

“As if this was not sufficient, now Estates department has asked the prominent newspaper Greater Kashmir to vacate its office from Press Enclave, Pratap Park Srinagar; this is indeed a new tyranny with the freedom of press,” he said in the statement.

Journalists and media houses have been working in Jammu and Kashmir in a very tough situation and have suffered the loss of life and property like every other Kashmiri suffered, he said.

“However, despite all troubles and odds this sector has kept up the status of professionalism and has acted as a bridge between the people and the successive governments to apprise the either sides with the facts and figures of the reality,” said Wani.

“Journalism, media or call it press, is deemed as the fourth pillar of democracy, and once a pillar acts or is made to act weakly, it badly stains the whole system of democracy,” he said.

“Greater Kashmir, Kashmir Images, Kashmir Reader, Kashmir Life, Kashmir Times, Kashmir News Service and others all have worked in tough times but maintained standards of journalism and contributed to overall development serving their stuff to education, health, employment, eradication of evils and corruption from society and what not.”

JKCSF, he said, vehemently seeks removal of ban on the advertisements for these newspapers, rollback of orders of eviction from their offices, and free and fair environment for this fourth estate to serve the common people in Jammu and Kashmir.

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