Information blackout muffles Kashmir in shroud of darkness
The state police on Saturday seized copies of major Urdu and English newspapers in Kashmir Valley following midnight raids on the printing press, creating an information blackout as mobile services also remained suspended.
The publishers on their websites claimed that their print copies were seized and people working for the printing press were also arrested.
“Policemen seized the plates of ‘Greater Kashmir’ and more than 50,000 printed copies of ‘Kashmir Uzma’ (Urdu daily) and closed down GKC printing press,” a report on the website of ‘Greater Kashmir’ said.
Another English daily ‘Kashmir Reader’ said: “The posse of police seized copies of ‘Kashmir Reader’.”
“At 2 a.m., the police raided KT printing press at Rangreth and detained eight people while seizing copies of ‘Kashmir Reader’,” the daily reported on Kashmirreader.com.
KT press is one of major printing press in the Valley and prints dailies like ‘Kashmir Reader’, ‘Tameel-e-Irshad’, ‘Kashmir Times’, ‘Kashmir Observer’, ‘The Kashmir Monitor’, ‘Kashmir Observer’, ‘Brighter Kashmir’ and ‘Kashmir Age’.
“When we reached press enclave to collect the copies for distribution, the cops had already seized the lot. They also misbehaved with us when we asked why it was being done,” a hawker said.
Mobile network services here have been suspended since Thursday evening and mobile Internet was blocked after 22-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed on July 8.
The unrest in the Valley continued for the seventh day on Saturday. Separatists have urged people to observe the shutdown till Monday.
The only mobile service functional in the Valley is Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and the only Internet connectivity is BSNL broadband service.