Govt ‘formally’ bans publication of newspapers for 3 days

Spokesperson who wanted to remain anonymous says ‘Govt apprehends trouble during these days’
SRINAGAR: The government on Saturday said that there will be ban on publication of newspapers for the next three days.
A government spokesperson conveyed this to editors and owners of Kashmir-based newspapers who had called a meeting after police raided their printing presses and confiscated copies of newspapers on Friday night.
The spokesperson who wanted to remain anonymous told the editors that the “government apprehends serious trouble in Kashmir in the next three days”.
He said strict curfew will be imposed and movement of newspaper staff and distribution of newspapers will not be possible, a statement issued by the meeting said. The meeting strongly condemned the ban, saying it is not only reprehensible but against the “norms of a democratic set up”.
This meeting was called to chalk out a strategy about publication of newspapers that has been hit after government ordered raids on the several printing facilities. The police raided the printing facilities of many newspapers and asked press staff not to print newspapers while seizing the copies that had already been printed.
Police also seized copies of Kashmir Reader in a raid at its printing facility.
The participants of the meeting termed the raids as an attack on the freedom of press and vowed to fight it back at all costs.
However, after government spokesperson’s statement, the meeting felt that it is not possible to publish the newspapers.
“The newspaper editors apologise to the readers for the breakdown of newspaper publication which is beyond their control,” the meeting said.
The editors said as soon as the government lifts the media emergency “we will resume our publications”.

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