Gag on media: Kashmir Times office in Srinagar sealed without notice

Kashmir Times Editor, whose Government allotted flat in Jammu was forcibly taken back and locked two weeks ago, had petitioned the Supreme Court last year against withdrawal of Internet

Gag on media: Kashmir Times office in Srinagar sealed without notice

NH Political Bureau

The Srinagar office of the Jammu and Kashmir based news paper “The Kashmir Times” was sealed by authorities on Monday without  any prior notice. The Editor of the newspaper Anuradha Bhaseen claimed that two properties belonging to the newspaper have been sealed by the Estate department.

Two weeks ago, Bhasin, Executive Editor of the newspaper, one of the oldest in Jammu and Kashmir was evicted from her official residence in Jammu.

Government advertisements were stopped to the newspaper last year the day after she petitioned the Supreme Court against the Government's ban on Internet services and pleaded that it affected transmission of news and information and thereby freedom of the Press. Five months later the apex court disposed the petition after the Government informed that Internet services were being restored.

Headquartered in Jammu , the English daily is published from both Srinagar and Jammu. Bhasin claimed that no notice of cancellation or eviction was served on them and “nothing in writing” was given to them.

“Today, Estates Deptt locked Kashmir Times office without any due process of cancellation & eviction, same way as I was evicted from a flat in Jammu, where my belongings including valuables were handed over to "new allottee". Vendetta for speaking out! No due process followed. How peevish! ” Bhasin wrote on Facebook after her office was sealed.

“We had approached the Estates Department and asked them to please serve us the order, but they gave us nothing. Then we approached the court, but no order has been given even there,” said Bhasin.

She said the locking up of the Srinagar office of the newspaper was something similar to her recent eviction from a flat in Jammu.

“The government has the right to evict an allottee, but there is a certain criteria and they have to follow the due process,” she said.

Bhasin termed the move as “vendetta” against her “for speaking out against the government and moving the Supreme Court against media restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre abrogated Article 370 in August last year.

The day I went to court last year, that very day, the state government advertisements to Kashmir Times were stopped, she said.

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Published: 20 Oct 2020, 11:01 AM