Kashmir Press Club demands restoration of internet services

SRINAGAR: The prolonged and unprecedented internet shutdown in Kashmir has already completed 100 days, entering 107th day on Tuesday, which is a matter of
deep concern and condemnation, Kashmir Press Club said.
“The management committee of the Kashmir Press Club, while discussing the impact of the internet blackout observed that for the Journalists in Kashmir, the
communications blackout has meant minuscule access to the world outside and over 100 days of deprivation and humiliation,” the statement said.
“Since August 5, the journalists and media workers in Kashmir have been deprived of basic communications facilities like internet and broadband services in
the offices, which has severely hampered their work. Now the authorities have made undertakings must for restoration of internet access in the valley, with
one of the conditions in the undertaking requiring the internet users to provide unfettered access to content and infrastructure as and when required,” it
While condemning the internet shutdown across all platforms, the KPC meeting termed the restrictions on journalists, media in Kashmir as “totally unwarranted
and unreasonable aimed at gagging the Kashmir press.
Demanding that the government lift the ban on internet, the KPC meeting further observed that due to the communications blockade, the newspapers in Kashmir
have not been able to upload their internet editions and update their news websites, which in turn has led to drastic job cuts by scores of media
organizations in Kashmir besides loss of online advertisement revenue.
“As the journalists in Kashmir continue to be deprived access to the internet, the Government has herded hundreds of journalist and media workers in Valley
to the so-called Media Facilitation Centre, now shifted from a private hotel to the Directorate of Information & Publicity (DIPR). The KPC meeting also noted
with concern the daily and often humiliation grind of just 10 computer terminals for hundreds of Kashmir based journalists and media workers, waiting for
their turns in this biting and freezing cold to file their stories,’ it added.
In this background, the Kashmir Press Club urged the government to take note of the severe hardships faced by the media fraternity in Kashmir and ensure
restoration of the internet services to the journalists, media workers and newspapers offices without further delay.

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