Srinagar: The Kashmir Press Club (KPC) in Srinagar has expressed serious reservations over the “unprecedented communication blockade” in the valley and criticized authorities for allegedly forcing some senior journalists to vacate their government provided accommodation.
Rejecting the restraints imposed on journalists in Kashmir, the press club’s executive committee said in a meeting that due to “unprecedented communication blockade” affecting mobile telephony, Internet and telephone landlines, journalists have been “crippled, overwhelmingly disabling them from reporting the ground situation”.
“Since the communication blockade was imposed over the region on August 5, the club took up the issue with government authorities on several occasions, urging them to restore mobile phones, Internet and telephone landlines to journalists and media outlets, including newspapers, and also the club itself,” it said.
“But all these efforts have proved to be futile as these services have not been restored to journalists till date,” the KPC said in a statement.
It said currently, several hundreds of media persons, both local and visiting and media workers are forced to wait in queues for their turn to use the media facilitation center in Kashmir.
“The center is equipped with only five computers and a low speed Internet connection,” the statement said.
Despite repeated reminders and requests field by the press club, the directorate of information and public relations has not made any attempt to enhance services including open access to WiFi for journalists at the center until the internet and telephone facilities are restored in the Valley, the KPC claimed.
“The Kashmir Press Club demands that the government should restore internet and telephone facility to journalists and media outlets,” the statement read.
The executive committee meeting also expressed serious concern over the harassment of journalists based in Kashmir and application of the pressure tactics.