The Press Council of India has issued a show cause notice to the Jammu and Kashmir government and its information department over the purported banning of advertisements to two dailies in the state, PTI reported. The council has asked the state to reply to its query after the Kashmir Editors’ Guild lodged a complaint against the government.
The council said it views such incidents with concern as they “tend to undermine the freedom of the press”.
On February 22, the Kashmir Editors Guild had said the state government had suspended advertising to two major local English dailies – Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader – without specifying a reason. The guild had said the state administration is trying “deliberate strangulation and subversion of the institution of media in the state”.
Major English and Urdu newspapers in Jammu and Kashmir on March 10 published blank front pages in protest against the state government’s suspension of the advertising.
The Kashmir Editors Guild welcomed the council’s move and said that such bands put “media organisations through whole lot of trouble”.
The state has been under President’s rule since December 2018. Governor’s rule was imposed in June 2018 when the coalition state government fell apart after the Bharatiya Janata Party pulled out of an alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party.