Kashmir Editors Guild visits KR office after govt lifts ban, express solidarity
Srinagar: All members of Kashmir Editors Guild, an organisation comprising owners of major Urdu and English newspapers in the Valley, led by its president Fayaz Ahmad Kaloo, visited Kashmir Reader office and expressed solidarity with the staff.
The KEG members assured KR staff that the valley’s media fraternity was united and committed to fighting all challenges together.
Kaloo, who is owner and editor of Greater Kashmir, cited several personal experiences of how media persons and institutions had been targeted in the valley in the past.
“The curbs on the media are nothing new but every time there was a crisis the media has taken it head on and will continue to do so,” Kaloo said.
Saying that each crisis made the local media community
Stronger besides making journalists wiser and better equipped to understand the nuances of working in Kashmir, especially the unpredictability of situations.
“Our strength comes from the challenges we face on day to day basis but it has its own costs,” he said.
The KEG assured KR staff that it left no stone unturned in ensuring the Reader resumes its publication.
In a statement, the KEG said, “They (editors) were pained to see the newspaper staff dusting the desks that had remained unused and forbidden since October 2, 2016, when the government imposed ban on the newspaper. Reporters and other staffers were smiling after a long time, the desk editors of the newspaper told visiting editors.”
“During the interaction with the newspaper staff the president said the Guild is tackling various issues confronting the media as a fraternity and as a sector in a gradual manner and the process to resolve these issues has already started,” the statement said.
Earlier, the KEG members met chief minister Mehbooba Mufti at her official residence and discussed with her several issues confronting newspapers in the state.
Mehbooba complimented Kaloo and other office bearers of KEG for “having been chosen to lead the group.”
“She hoped the Guild would play its role in strengthening the institution of journalism in the state for which she said the government would all along be supportive,” a statement issued by an official spokesman said.
Mehbooba Mufti assured the delegation that the issues raised by them would be examined and looked into.
Subsequent to the two meetings, District Magistrate Srinagar Dr Farooq Lone issued an order revoking the nearly three-month-long ban on Kashmir Reader.
The order reads: “Kashmir Reader was directed to abstain from printing and publishing under section 144 CRPC. That order remains enforceable for two months only as such has lapsed on 30/11/2016. Since no extension has been ordered by the government, there is no ban on publishing of the newspaper as on date”.
On October 2, the government had ordered printing presses to stop printing and publication of Kashmir Reader, else punitive measures under various sections of different laws can be invoked against them. Scores of protests were held by journalists in the Valley against the ban order.