Srinagar: Expressing concern over freedom of press in Kashmir, the Jammu & Kashmir Right to Information Movement (RTIM) on Sunday called the recent order of withholding government advertisements to Greater Kashmir (GK) and Kashmir Reader (KR) as an attack on freedom of expression and speech.
In a statement, the RTI movement has said that withholding the advertisements by government is not at all justifiable at this point of time when the local press is working in a very harsh situation. “Print media should have Freedom of Expression at least.”
The chairman of JKRTI Movement, Raja Muzaffar Bhat said that “government and its agencies must respect the freedom of expression and speech which has been guaranteed under article 19 of the Constitution. Stopping advertisements is nothing but gagging the genuine voice of people”.
“Government must without any delay restore the advertisements to Greater Kashmir (GK) and Kashmir Reader(KR) as the order is un democratic and violates the constitutional provisions. Even the Right to Information Act (RTI) has evolved from this very constitutional provision and government needs to respect freedom of press, freedom of information and freedom of expression and speech,” said Muzaffar.
He added: By stopping the advertisement to GK and KR , the two media houses will not only get impacted but it will impact hundreds of people affiliated with these two organizations. “Press in Kashmir is working in a very difficult situation and the curbs like seizing government advertisements further aggravates the problems for Journalists.”