Kashmir editors ask government apologise for media gag

Srinagar: After three days of media gag on publication of newspapers in Kashmir by the government, owners and editors of the newspapers on Tuesday decided not to publish newspapers unless the government officialy tenders an apology.

The state government on the intervening night of July 15 and July 16 had raided presses, seized newspapers, and detained the employees. Following the seizure, the government spokesman Naeem Akhter had said the ban would remain for the next three days. However in a meeting held by the owners and editors of the newspapers, it was unanimously decided not to go for the print unless the government tenders official apology.

After the uproar over the gag, chief minister’s adviser Prof Amitabh Mattoo approached the newspaper owners insisting that it was a “mistake” for which he apologized. However the newspapers, in a statement said the state government resorted to propaganda blitzkrieg insisting that there was no ban.

“They used all the available media to hit the credibility of the newspapers that has a history of not ceasing its publication even when it members were killed,” the statement reads.

The owners, in a statement said, the government should own the ban and guarantee that media operations are not being hampered from the movement of staff, to newsgathering, printing and the distribution of the newspapers.

“We haven’t heard anything from anyone in the government since then. It indicates that the Government has not changed its press emergency in wake of these developments it may not be possible for us to resume publication of newspapers,” said the statement.

Later owners, editors and journalist held protests at Srinagar’s press enclave against the gag.