Mehbooba Mufti names TV news channels whose coverage, she says, hurts tourism in J&K

Visiting tourists apply balm to J&K’s wounds, said CM Mehbooba Mufti, but regretted that news channels portraying every incident of violence as if entire J&K is burning scare away tourists

Photo by Parveen Negi/India Today Group/Getty Images
Photo by Parveen Negi/India Today Group/Getty Images

NH Web Desk

Once again TV news channels are in the line of fire for their “irresponsible” coverage of events. This time, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has accused Times Now, Republic TV, News X and India Today of “building negative perception” about the trouble-torn state, which is adversely affecting state’s tourism industry.

“If an encounter is happening in a remote corner of Kashmir, tourists get call from their family about their safety as TV channels disproportionately play up the news. These channels report situation in such a way as if entire Jammu and Kashmir is going up in flames,” she said.

In the past also, CM Mehbooba has blamed electronic media for portraying Kashmir in bad light which has adversely affected the tourism industry of the state.

The CM was speaking at the inaugural function of three-day Travel Agents Association of India convention at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre in Srinagar.

“Even though the state is going through tough times, it remains the warmest place on earth and safest place for women,” she said in her keynote address, adding that her government alone cannot provide the “healing touch” caused by guns in Kashmir.

She blamed Partition of the Indian subcontinent for the miseries of people of her state: “Jammu Kashmir had no role in the division of the country, yet its people become the first victims when hostilities between the two countries (India and Pakistan) flare-up whether its border skirmishes or militancy.” The CM regretted that the country had left the state alone in deep crisis when its residents were already feeling isolated an alienated.

She appealed to the country’s tourism industry to clear the negative perceptions about Jammu and Kashmir and help in bringing peace to the troubled Valley. “Government alone cannot do that, you have to do partnership with us. There is no doubt that we are going through a very difficult phase but we have invited you today for our hand-holding.”

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Published: 28 Mar 2018, 3:33 PM