National

Kashmir dailies run blank front pages

NC leader Omar Abdullah has accused the Centre of choking the media. File

NC leader Omar Abdullah has accused the Centre of choking the media. File  

Over 13 Kashmir-based newspapers on Sunday ran blank front pages protesting against the government’s move to stop advertisements to two widely circulated dailies — Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader.

The front pages of the newspapers carried only a two-line caption, which read: “In protest against the unexplained denial of government advertisements to Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader.

Members of the Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) staged a sit-in protest at the Press Club of Kashmir and approached the Press Council of India and the Editors Guild of India on the issue.

“We have registered our protest against the stopping of advertisements to the two widely circulated dailies. Despite our repeated attempts to know the reasons behind the move, the government has failed to furnish any so far. We were forced to run the front pages as blank in protest,” said Bashir Manzar, KEG member and editor of the Kashmir Monitor. The advertisements were “abruptly” stopped in the third week of February, the KEG said.

NC, PDP support

J&K’s main regional parties, the National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have blamed the Centre for the move.

Greater Kashmir is one of the most popular local dailies of J&K. The Centre’s decision to stop advertisements should be viewed in the context of their attitude towards the press and electronic media in general. Kowtow to their warped agenda and sing praises. Or else suffer,” said PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.

NC vice-president Omar Abdullah sought a revocation of the decision. “The government is attempting to choke the media by denying them advertising revenues. I hope the Centre and the State immediately reverse this decision of trying to silence the fourth estate.”

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 12:48:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kashmir-dailies-run-blank-front-pages/article26492740.ece

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