Ground Report | New Delhi: Kashmiri newspaper Greater Kashmir on Thursday vacated its office in Srinagar, a government property, after receiving a notice for “illegal possession” and pending rent, Newslaundry reported.
The office, located in Mushtaq Press Enclave, Srinagar, was allotted to the newspaper for one year in 2001.
The editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Fayaz Kalu, on Wednesday, received a notice under section 4, sub-section 1 of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) (Amendment) Act, 2016.
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The notice said that the administration “has a reason to believe that you are not authorized to continue to occupy/continue to occupy Government JN Quarter No. 06, Pratap Park, Srinagar, as you are illegally occupying the said premises.” are.”
Signed by the Deputy Director of Estates, it further claimed that the property was awarded to Greater Kashmir “by the Govt. Order No. 130-Est 2001 dated 16.07.2001 for a period of one year” according to Newslaundry.
“The period of your allotment was over and till date no further extension order has been issued in your favor”, and “an amount of Rs 13,383 is outstanding as rent of the above accommodation till the end of October, 2021”, Notice given.
An unidentified member of Greater Kashmir’s management told Newslaundry that the process of renewal of the allotment was irregular but the newspaper had never been given notice before.
“Renewal is a routine exercise but they [governments] don’t do it and things keep going,” the official said. “We don’t know why they sent this notice [this time].”
Media is under pressure in Kashmir. Several journalists have been summoned to various police stations in Kashmir; Some have been booked under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA.
This year, the bureaucratic administration headed by the lieutenant governor drafted a controversial media policy that seeks to define what news is. The stated objective of the policy is to create a favorable image of the government.
In July 2019, the editor and publisher of the Greater Kashmir were called to Delhi and questioned for a week by the National Investigation Agency. The investigating agency did not give an official reason for the summons. (Greater Kashmir Srinagar office)
In June 2020, the Jammu and Kashmir administration passed a new framework ‘Media Policy 2020’ aimed at creating a “sustained narrative on the functioning of the government in media.” The policy gives the administration power to define news as per their convenience along with full control to decide what is “anti-social and anti-national.” It also proposes a “background check” of newspaper owners and journalists alike.
Under this policy, created by the Department of Information and Public Affairs and security agencies, the authorities will examine the content for “fake news, plagiarism and unethical or anti-national activities.”
Journalists in the valley have been booked or summoned by authorities to question their publications, they are being seen with the prism of nationalism. Now, a new Media Policy for UT has become the bone of contention.