The Editors Guild of India on Thursday said the sealing of the Srinagar offices of Kashmir Times was “reprehensible” and had disturbing implications for the media in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
On Monday, the J&K Union Territory administration sealed the newspaper’s Srinagar offices.
In a statement, the Guild said that newspapers and magazines in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which was replaced with the UTs of J&K and Ladakh last year, were “already ravaged by conflict”.
“Publications have steadily lost advertising over the last decade. Jammu and Kashmir’s communication shutdowns, followed by the pandemic lockdown, have totally stopped the trickle of revenue… Instead of assisting the media, which was most needed in these dark times, the administration without any notice took control of the office of Kashmir Times, putting its lock on the door. The newspaper editor, Ms. Anuradha Bhasin, and the staff have been denied access to records, computers, furniture and equipment in the office”, it stated.
‘Action is vindictive’
The Guild termed the action vindictive and called on the government to restore status quo.
The Press Club of India also issued a statement seeking the restoration of status quo.
“We demand that the authorities end their show of small-mindedness immediately, and restore the earlier status of the Srinagar office of Kashmir Times”, the statement said.
The PCI demanded the same for Ms. Bhasin’s residence, which the administration had “raided”.
“Kashmir Times and Ms. Bhasin personally have attracted the ire of the authorities because she showed the gumption to challenge in the Supreme Court the circumstances- in particular closure of the internet and curfews, both of which made journalism impossible – that flowed from the deeply troubling decision taken by the Government of India on August 5 last year”, it said.