May 2006 News

Kashmir Cable TV Back In Action

11 May 2006

Srinagar: Cable television operators in Indian administered Kashmir say that they have resumed programming after threats from militants stopped them operating. They say that programmes were suspended for 24 hours following the threats. The operators say the decision to resume has been taken despite fresh threats from militants. Groups including the Al-Madina Regiment, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Ah-Badar Mujahideen and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen say that cable TV programming is obscene. They have threatened suicide attacks against cable operators who defy their ban. The groups issuing the threats have dismissed the argument of the main Kashmiri militant group, Hizbul Mujahideen, which argues that the ban on cable TV was orchestrated by the Indian authorities to distract public attention from a sex scandal involving high-ranking government officials. The Hizbul Mujahideen claim was supported by the Dukhtaran-e-Milat women's organisation. Police protection The owner of the main cable TV company in Srinagar told the BBC on Wednesday that the decision to stop programming was taken after several of their offices in the city were visited by militant groups complaining about the 'depraved' nature of their output. Ahmed Amjad said that his staff were not receiving sufficient police protection. Forty channels were affected, including Star Movies, AXN, Reality TV and Star World. Correspondents say that cable TV is valued by some Kashmiris as a way of escaping the horrors of an insurgency by militants opposed to Indian rule. But there has been disquiet in recent weeks over the 'indecent' nature of some of the broadcasts.


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