SRINAGAR, Feb 13: The Srinagar based newspapers today resumed their publications after a gap of four days while the news channels continued to be off the air and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that there was no media gag in Kashmir.
The publishers of the Kashmir Images, Chattan and Kashmir Reader had said that Police seized their newspapers on Sunday while printer and Publisher of Greater Kashmir had said that police had asked them not to publish the newspaper. This forced the newspapers to suspend their publications. The Government also didn’t issue any curfew passes to the media that curbed the movement of journalists.
However, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said there was no ban imposed on publication of newspapers but the dailies had chosen not to print as curfew had made distribution impossible. “There is NO ban on newspapers in Kashmir. Papers are choosing not to print because restrictions make delivery of newspapers impossible,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.com.
Omar said in case a ban had been imposed on newspapers, it would have been extended to their Internet editions as well, which was not the case. “If there was a ban, then it would have extended to their Internet editions as well which are regularly being updated,” he said.
The Chief Minister said the newspapers will resume publishing once the restrictions are eased. “As the restrictions ease the newspapers will resume publication because the problem isn’t with printing. It’s with them being unable to (distribute),” he said.
“And those continuously going on about a “Government gag” would be well advised to produce a single copy of this gag order,” the Chief Minister asked.
The mobile internet continues to be shut for the 5th consecutive day today and the news channels continue to be off the air. However, broadband of BSNL and entertainment TV channels are functioning normally.