Journalists protest against censorship, denied entry to cover event on ‘interlocutor’ Sharma’s visit

Kulgam: Authorities in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district barred media persons to cover the visit of New Delhi appointed ‘interlocutor’ Dineshwar Sharma in the district.

Sharma arrived in the town to interact with “desired people”.

“All the media persons working in district are informed to cover the interlocutor Mr Dineshwar Sharma’s visit to kulgam tomorrow at 11.00 am at DC office complex,” an order issued by authorities on Thursday evening read.

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However a couple of hours later, authorities issued another order that read: “As communicated by DDC Kulgam Mr Talat Parvaiz just now no Media coverage would be allowed for tomorrow’s VIP visit.”

Authorities on Friday morning verbally requested reporters to remain present on the arrival of Sharma, but they were not permitted to enter into DC office premises.

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Media personnel staged a protest outside the DC office. “We were asked to cover the interaction of Sharma with people, however, we denied and boycotted the event,” said a news reporter.

Sharma met a couple of delegations in the town. Auqaf Committee Secretary, Abdul Hamid Ganaie who also met Sharma said that they demanded an end to the use of bullets and pellets in Kashmir Valley. “We asked the interlocutor to start a political initative to resolve Kashmir issue,” he said.

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Media professionals were also “barred” in December 2017, from covering the activities of Government of India’s special representative Dineshwar Sharma maiden’s visit to frontier district of Kupwara.

According to a news in Kashmir based Daily GreaterKashmir, a number of delegations from across the district are lined up at Dak Bungalow Kupwara to interact with Sharma, who is on the third visit to Jammu and Kashmir since his appointment.

Sharma arrived at the district headquarters around 1:45 PM amid a tight security cover.

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“We are not allowed to go inside the dak bungalow. His first visit to this border district is so significant but we are not being allowed to cover the proceedings,” one of the journalist deputed to cover the visit had said.

Local journalists representing various newspapers and news agencies were also denied permission to cover the event.

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(With inputs from CNS)

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