The Jammu and Kashmir government has said that it is yet to receive an order from the Ministry of Home Affairs directing that advertisements to newspapers publishing anti-national articles be stopped. Meanwhile, editors in Kashmir have said that they are working on professional lines and have not violated basic rules.
The central order reads, “It is understood that some newspapers in J&K are publishing highly radicalised content glamourising terrorists and anti-national elements… (this) should be strictly dealt with. Such newspapers should also not be given any patronage by way of advertisements by the state government.”
Director of Information, Kashmir, Muneer-ul-Islam said, “Maybe they (MHA) have said this, but offices of the information department are closed now for the annual darbar move. So I can’t be sure about that.” Tahir Mohiuddin, member of Kashmir Editors Guild and editor of Urdu daily Chattan, said, “All newspapers are working on professional lines and statements from mainstream, politicians and separatists are being published simultaneously. I think there seems to be some kind of confusion.”
He said that they had already discussed such problems with Press Council of India, Editors Guild of India and interlocutors. “We were conveyed that there is no such thing happening ,” he said.
The editor of Rising Kashmir, an English daily published from Srinagar, said that if this policy takes exception to publishing of facts on the ground, including funerals of militants, then it should apply to national newspapers as well, which are doing the same thing. The Kashmir Editors Guild maintained silence on the issue. Editors who are members of the guild said they would soon issue a statement.