Jammu and Kashmir government has told the Centre that there is no ban on publication of newspapers in the Valley, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Tuesday, amid the alleged clampdown on media in Kashmir.
“I spoke to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti last night. As the Information and Broadcasting Minister, I spoke to her about such reports and she told me no such decision has been taken. ‘It won’t happen,’ she told me. She assured me there is no such ban,” Naidu told reporters.
When asked about the unrest in the Valley, he shot back, saying media should pay attention to what is happening in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.
Local newspapers have failed to hit stands for the last three days in curfew-bound Kashmir after the government’s alleged clampdown on the media in the wake of widespread protests in the Valley.
Jammu and Kashmir Police had on Friday allegedly closed down the offices of at least two printing presses after seizing plates of newspaper and printed copies in Rangreth Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Srinagar.
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On Monday, Mufti’s advisor Amitabh Mattoo had said the decision to ban publication of newspapers in the Valley did not have the consent of the Chief Minister and might have been taken at the local level for which “heads will roll”.
Asked about the incident in Gujarat in which some Dalits were assaulted for allegedly skinning a cow, Naidu said the matter was discussed at the BJP Parliamentary Party Executive meeting on Monday and the state government had acted immediately after the incident took place.
“The guilty has been caught. The Gujarat government acted immediately. It is a condemnable incident. It should not be politicised. Doing politics will not give justice,” he said.