Baramulla: A month has passed for the television cable network in Sopore to remain shut after threats by little know organisations like Lashkar-e-Islam and Tehreeq Taliban Kashmir.
The forced shutdown has caused huge losses to cable operators as the subscribers are switching to dish TV.
According to the cable operators, as many as 40 franchises and over 500 employees, who were directly or indirectly associated with cable network, have become unemployed.
A senior executive member of JK Cable Network Sopore on Wednesday said that they were forced to stop the services across the Sopore area comprising around 100 villages for no fault of theirs.
“We met Syed Ali Shah Geelani at his residence and urged him to use his approach but neither United Jehad Council nor any other pro freedom group took the matter serious,” he said.
“Our cable network was neither against the resistance movement nor was it flouting any rules. We were not running any anti-social programmes but due to unknown reasons we were threatened,” he said.
Posters by two little known organisations, Lashkar-e-Islam and Tehreeq Talban, last month had threatened all telecom companies, and cable operators to shutdown their services in the area. Five persons were killed by unknown gunmen after threatening posters appeared in the town.
A local subscriber, Manzoor Ahmad said that their set top boxes were lying idle after the threats.
“Neither are we able to watch any news nor any religious programme while some people who purchased Dish TVs are enjoying their services uninterrupted,” he said.
Zahoor Ahmad (name changed), a franchise of JK Cable Network, questioned the rationale of the ‘ban’.
“When cable network is running in other areas like Srinagar, Pattan, Baramulla, South Kashmir, Bandipora and Kupwara, why not here? Why weren’t dish TVs banned? It seems someone is trying to plunge the people of Sopore in dark,” he said.
He appealed all the pro-freedom groups in Kashmir to use their influence in restart of the cable network in Sopore.
“There are so many partners of JK Cable Network Sopore who invested more than six crore rupees in it. Some partners have taken bank loan, others sold their properties for its development but now we are helpless,” he said.
When asked, a police officer of Sopore urged cable operators to resume their services.
“Our first and foremost duty was to help resume mobile network in the town, which was done successfully. We will provide security to cable TV operators if they are ready to restore their services,” he said.