Kashmir Press Feels Free12 October 2010
Srinagar: For the first time since the onset of the prevailing unrest in the valley, government Tuesday allowed hassle free distribution of newspapers and free movement of media persons despite curfew being in place. CRPF and policemen also honored the curfew passes issued to mediamen. “We had apprehensions that the forces might seize newspapers and won’t allow us to distribute them as they have been doing earlier, but today everything went smoothly,” said a group of distributors. The hawkers who have often been at the receiving end in recent times were also allowed to distribute newspapers in the city as well as other major townships of Valley. Kashmir media has been working under pressure for the last four months owing to harsh restrictions imposed on the movement of staffers of newspapers. Besides, dozens of journalists working with local and international news organizations have also been beaten by police and CRPF men while local news channels have been officially banned by the government.