Editor seeks urgent hearing on internet shutdown in J&K

Reuters file photo

A newspaper, Kashmir Times' executive editor Anuradha Bhasin on Tuesday sought urgent hearing in the Supreme Court on a plea against the restrictions imposed through complete shutdown on internet and telecommunication services, saying it has affected freedom of speech and expression.

Advocate Vrinda Grover mentioned the petition before a bench of Justices Arun Mishra, M R Shah and Ajay Rastogi. The court said that the registrar would consider the matter for listing.

In her plea, Bhasin sought a direction to the government to ensure an enabling environment for journalists and all other media personnel in all parts of Jammu and Kashmir to practice their profession by relaxing the curbs imposed since August 4.

Her plea claimed that she has not been able to print and publish the Kashmir edition of Kashmir Times as the complete and absolute restrictions on all communication services and movement has resulted in the imposition of blockade on media activities, including reporting and publishing on the situation in Kashmir.

She said such restrictions were curbing the rights of journalists under the provisions of Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution and the right to know the conditions of residents of Kashmir Valley.

“The absolute and complete internet and telecommunication shutdown, severe restrictions on mobility and sweeping curtailment on information sharing in the Kashmir Valley, at a time when significant political and constitutional changes are being undertaken in Delhi to the status of J&K, is fuelling anxiety, panic, alarm, insecurity and fear among the residents of the Kashmir,” her plea stated.

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