SC to Consider Urgent Listing of Anuradha Bhasin’s Plea on J&K

SC to Consider Urgent Listing of Anuradha Bhasin’s Plea on J&K

Politics

Video Producer: Anubhav Mishra

Video Editors: Vivek Gupta and Sandeep Suman

The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, 13 August, said that it will consider an urgent listing of a petition filed by Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin, seeking removal of restrictions imposed on the functioning of journalists in the region after the revocation of Article 370, news agency ANI reported.

In her plea, Bhasin has sought directions for restoration of all modes of communication, including mobile internet and landline services, across the region in order to provide an enabling environment for the media to function.

In an interview, Bhasin said that moving the apex court came in the wake of a drastic situation for her and that she has taken the step as a media professional.

Also Read : After Article 370, Do The People Of Nagaland Have Reason To Worry?

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“The provision was that to take any decision on Article 370, the Constituent Assembly of J&K – which no longer exists – has to be consulted. This couldn’t have been done.”
Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor, Kashmir Times

“People of Jammu and Kashmir have been deprived of their democratic rights to decide what their future should be,” Bhasin added.

In her petition, the editor has said that she is seeking a direction for the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration to immediately relax all restrictions on freedom of movement of journalists and media personnel in Kashmir and some districts of Jammu.

‘There is a Deafening Silence’

Comparing the current situation to earlier shutdowns, Bhasin said that there have been similar curfew-like conditions, but there was still minimal internet connectivity, and that now, there is “a deafening silence not only in Kashmir but also in Rajouri sector, Poonch, Doda, Kishtwar and Bhadarwar”.

“In 2010, 2013 and 2016, we were unable to publish newspapers in Kashmir. None of the newspapers were published for several years because of similar curfew-like conditions. There was intimidation, there was threat, but there was minimal internet connectivity. It wasn’t fully blocked.”
Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor, Kashmir Times

Also Read : Kashmiri Pandits Condemn Abrogation of Article 370 in Petition

‘Why Not Lift Restrictions If Public is Happy?’

Questioning the government on its claim that the people of the Valley are happy with the decision to effectively revoke Article 370, Bhasin questioned the implications of restrictions in the region.

“We are willing to buy the propaganda that people in the Valley are happy. If the people in the Valley are indeed happy, then why the restrictions? Why are the telephone lines restricted? What are the reasons for the internet still being banned?”
Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor, Kashmir Times

Bhasin has also mentioned in her petition that “connectivity shutdown” has isolated Kashmir and some districts of Jammu, and said that the government should open the phone lines and let people themselves come out and tell the truth.

Also Read : Kashmir: Are Foreign & Indian Media Reporting on the Same Place?

(With inputs from PTI)

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