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J&K: Newspapers question SAFMA's silence

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
August 30, 2008 19:04 IST
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Leading newspapers like Greater Kashmir and Rising Kashmir Daily have questioned the silence of South Asian Free Media Association on the crackdown on newspapers in the Valley. They have questioned the credibility of the organisation that professes to fight for the cause of press freedom.

K K Katyal of The Hindu, who is also chairman of SAFMA, refused to take calls from mediapersons in Delhi and his mobile phone remained unreachable.

A junior official of the organisation said he was too small a person in the organisation to comment and hence, he could not do so.

A leading editor excused himself on the ground that he had not seen the so-called order on the media and hence, was not in a position to give his comment.

"I am sorry I would not be able to give the comment as I have not seen the government order," he said.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Prakash Javadekar said the goverment has lost touch with  ground reality.

"We want restoration of peace in the Valley, but some corrective steps particularly about bogus propaganda about Article 370 needs to be set right," he said.

Press Council of India said in a statement that it would take a stand once the chairman of the council Retd Justice G N Ray returns to Delhi about the order passed by the governor on publication of newspapers in Jammu and Kashmir and showing of cable network.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi