Monday, December 6, 2021
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Authorities Seal ‘Kashmir Times’ Office In Srinagar

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir authorities on Monday sealed the office of the state’s oldest and prominent English newspaper-Kashmir Times for triggering outrage in the city.

However, the politicians have termed this action as the Central Government is trying to suppress those who are speaking up and muzzle the freedom of the press in the region.

The office was sealed a week later after a flat which was allotted to the newspaper’s editor in Jammu was issued to the brother of a former legislator by the Jammu and Kashmir’s Estates Department.

Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, Anuradha Bhasin tweeted, “Today, Estates Deptt locked our office without any due process of cancellation & eviction, the same way as I was evicted from a flat in Jammu, where my belongings including valuables were handed over to ‘new allottee,” as quoted by Hindustan Times.

Deputy Director Estates Department Mohammad Aslam said that Kashmir Times was occupying two quarters in the Press Enclave, out of which one was taken over by the department “amicably”.

He said that the quarter was allotted to late Ved Bhasin, who was the founder of Kashmir Times and father of Anuradha Bhasin, in his capacity. After Bhasin’s death, the allotment got expired and was eventually cancelled.

“Their office is running in another quarter while this quarter was not in the name of Kashmir Times. It was being used for residential purposes by its employees and we had requested for its vacation some two-three months back. Yesterday they handed over the facility,” he said.

Several political leaders in the state have slammed the government for such behaviour.

The former chief minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah tweeted, “This explains why some of our ‘esteemed’ publications have decided to become Government mouthpieces, printing only government press handouts. The price of independent reportage is to be evicted without due process.”

Another former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “Anuradha was one of the few local newspaper editors in J&K who stood upto GOIs illegal & disruptive actions in the state. Shutting down her office in Srinagar is straight out of BJPs vendetta playbook to settle scores with those who dare to disagree.”

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