Private channel goes off air in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Sep 20 (UNI) A local channel '' 9 TV '' went off air since Friday, following directions from the District Magistrate, an official of the channel said.

He said the management of the channel received an order from the Magistrate, directing them to stop airing programmes.

''Accordingly, we stopped all our programmes,'' he said, adding police raided the office and seized all the equipment which were being used for telecast programmes, including news.

All cable operators are meeting today to decide future course of action. This was an attack on the freedom of the press and an attempt to gag the media, he alleged.

This was the second time that local channels were asked to stop airing news and current affairs programmes in the Kashmir Valley since August 24, when all channels stopped their operation in the to protest the order of the District Magistrate directing them not to show any news programme on the prevailing situation in Kashmir.

The channel had covered live the Muzaffarabad, Pampore, UN military observers office and Eidgah marchs organised by the Coordination Committee, an alliance of both the faction of Hurriyat Conference (HC) and other separatist and other organisations, spearheading the present agitation in the valley.

Local channels in retaliation snapped the telecast of all national and International news channels till the government finally allowed them to telecast news and current affairs programme after about two weeks.

UNI BAS ATI HT1318

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