IOK journalists demand immediate restoration of internet

General Official News

Srinagar, January 07, 2020 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, the Indian government has deliberately muzzled the press to control the flow of information and the gag has adversely affected the ground reporting and newsgathering operations was the crux of the meeting of almost all journalist organizations, held at Kashmir Press Club in Srinagar.

The interactive session with focus on the unabated internet suspension since August 5 when India unilaterally announced to abrogate Kashmir’s special status was attended by Kashmir Press Club, Kashmir Editors Guild, Editors Forum, Kashmir Union of Working Journalists, Kashmir Working Journalists Association, Kashmir Press Photographers Association, Kashmir Journalists Association, Kashmir Video Journalists Association, Kashmir News Television Journalists Association, Journalists Federation of Kashmir and Anjuman-e-Urdu Sahafat.

The journalists unequivocally demanded the restoration of internet services to media houses and shared their experiences about the challenges faced by them in their reportage after August 5. “It is humiliating to access the internet in the media facilitation centre set up by the department of information and Public relations. Giving journalists access to limited internet amounts to ban on media,” the speakers said on the occasion.

“This is unprecedented in the history of Kashmir. Even in 90s situation was not as that bad. Despite approaching government many times demanding restoration of internet services, nothing was done,” they said. “The government has deliberately muzzled the press to control the flow of information and the gag has adversely affected the ground reporting and newsgathering operations,” they added.

“We aren’t able to communicate with our sources and freely gather information. We demand the internet be restored,” said Bashir Manzar, senior journalist and editor-in-chief of Kashmir Images.

Meanwhile, later scores of journalists working with different media organisations – both local and outside -staged a sit-in at Kashmir Press Club and demanded an immediate end to the ban on Internet. “Stop humiliating Kashmiri journalists,” “156 days, no internet,” read the placards holding by journalists.

The Indian government snapped internet and mobile services and imposed restrictions on movement in the Valley on August 5 – the day New Delhi announced to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.

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