Srinagar: None of the Valley based newspapers could hit the stands on Thursday as government restricted the movement of scribes and other staff members of various news organizations.
The state government had cancelled curfew passes of media persons on Wednesday with police and paramilitary CRPF troopers enforcing curfew strictly at Press Enclave here.
The last time newspapers did not come out was in 2008, during Governor’s rule.
The India chapter of the South Asia media commission has expressed anguish over the curbs and asked authorities to restore normal functioning of journalists in the Valley forthwith.
“The restrictions of the type announced yesterday will only prove counter-productive. As we know from our experience of the emergency period, it will not serve any useful purpose either in the immediate or long-term context,” Chairperson of the India chapter of South Asia commission K K Katyal said in a statement.
Expressing distress over reports of attacks on media services, he said, “Right now the gap in the free media functioning may be filled by vested interests through rumour mongering. Later, those perceived to be responsible for the decision will be politically damaged.”
The media commission has been set up at the initiative of South Asian Free Media Association, SAFMA, to highlight restrictions on the media and other instances of high-handedness as also to monitor the content of its products.