Kashmiri media has had a harrowing year as journalists in the region sought to report on the situation since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019 and the impact it has had on people in Jammu and Kashmir.
As the erstwhile state witnessed the longest internet shutdown in the world, journalists have been demanding authorities lift the ban. The Supreme Court has been hearing Kashmir Times editor Anuradha Bhasin’s petition challenging the internet ban imposed in the region by the Central government from August 5.
Last week, journalist Qazi Shibli, editor of Kashmiriyat, was detained by the police in Srinagar under the 107 of the CRPC and moved to Srinagar Central Jail. Shibli had been released from UP’s Bareilly jail just this April after he was detained in July 2019 under the Public Safety Act.
An FIR was filed by the Jammu and Kashmir police against The Hindu’s Peerzada Ashiq for the news story ‘Kin allowed to exhume bodies of militants in Baramulla’, published in April, which they termed as “fake news”. The journalist has said he stands by the report.
Here’s a look at what Kashmir media is reporting today:
Nusrat Sidiq reports for the Kashmir Reader: ”“Crippled economy, muzzled media, loss of jobs, business, tourism and education, houses damaged in encounters, youths killed in gunfights, and an ever-increasing sense of insecurity among the common people have been the outcome of the abrogation of Article 370.
Dr Sheikh Showkat, professor of law, told Kashmir Reader that things have visibly gone worse since the abrogation. The region has been turned into a prison, he said.
“The only visible development one can see here is the increased violence, more Indian troops on ground, barricaded roads and concertina wires,” he said.
On Tuesday Showkat wrote on Twitter, “We remain besieged, not defeated. Not material resources but it is conviction and ideology that sustains a nation through turbulent times.””
Mudassar Ali reports for the Greater Kashmir that promises of new opportunities, jobs and investment in the region have remained unfulfilled.
“When government of India announced Rs 21 lakh crore economic package to reopen the economy across the country that has been badly hit by COVID19 pandemic, the Valley business organisation lamented they have been kept out of the package.”
Ali also writes: “On the other hand, there is no word from the government of India on holding the maiden Assembly polls in Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
But whenever the announcement is made, it would be a herculean task for the regional political parties to hit the political turf. The August move, many believe, not only has made the mainstream camp irrelevant in J&K, but decimated it completely.”
Greater Kashmir also carried an interview with former chief minister Omar Abdullah who said his party, National Conference, would strive hard to reverse the decisions taken by the Narendra Modi-led central government on August 5, 2019.
“We believe that the basis of what happened on August 5, 2019 is flawed and that is the case we have taken to the Supreme Court. I feel the petition filed by National Conference in the Supreme Court is very well drafted and a strong petition,” he said.
Javid Ahmed report for the Rising Kashmir that curfew imposed in Srinagar on August 3 had been lifted.
“On Tuesday, columns of Police and paramilitary CRPF personnel stood guard on roads and vital intersections in the city to prevent public assembly and movement.
According to locals, Police made announcements through the public address system about the imposition of strict curfew for two days.
The forces also installed barricades and concertina wires in the city to regulate movement of essential services and emergencies.
However, there will be no curfew on August 5 as the situation remained peaceful on August 4.”
Auqib Javeed of the Kashmir Observer interviewed Lt Gen DS Hooda (retd), the former General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Indian army’s Northern Command on the military presence in the region.
Lt Gen DS Hooda (retd) said: “Without a political process, we will only be left with trying to contain or manage the situation, primarily through the efforts of the security forces.
A long-term solution will have to be mainly political in nature.”
The Kashmiriyat featured a photo series on the streets of Srinagar on the first anniversary of the revocation of Article 370.
“With minimum people out on the streets, a pandemic, as well as the loss of special status and statehood, Kashmir is eerily quiet, since 4th August and today on 5th August 2020.”