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Cable operators resume services in Kashmir

Written by: Staff

Srinagar, May 11 (UNI) Hours after the Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit termed as ''unnecessary'' the ban on cable network in Kashmir, operators started airing news and entertainment channels across the Valley from this afternoon.

''We have started beaming the news and entertainment channels from this afternoon following positive statements by the Hizbul Mujahideen and other organisations,'' a cable operator told UNI.

Earlier, the Hizb had said that the ban had been imposed only to divert the people's attention from the recently-exposed sex scandal.

Hizb spokesman Junaid-ul-Islam, in a statement to the local media here, said the people of Kashmir, under the banner of Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of Faith), would expose the culprits involved in the alleged sex racket.

''The ban issued by militants is an unnecessary step as it has distracted the attention of the people from the sex scandal and other licentious activities,'' he added.

The spokesman said only the private TV channels were highlighting the agitaiton launched by the people against the abuse.

The Hizb appealed to the militant outfits to immediately lift the ban on cable network and allow the operators to resume services.

Following militant threats, the cable operators in Kashmir stopped beaming all news and entertainment channels last evening despite the state's government assurance of complete protection.

''Many cable operators in the Kashmir valley received threats on telephone to stop beaming of news and entertainment channels. We have done so from this evening,'' a cable operator told UNI here.

Dukhtaran-e-Millat Chief Asiya Andrabi, in a news copnference here yesterday, blamed the ''government agencies'' and those involved in the sex racket for threatening the cable operators and beauty parlours in the Kashmir valley.

''No militant outfit has issued any threats to the cable operators or the beauty parlours. They should not lend ears to such threats. It is an attempt to divert the attention of the people from this vital issue,'' she added.

An official spokesman, in a statement here on Tuesday, had said that it had come to the notice of the state government that the militants have threatened the cable operators here and asked them not to show news and other channels.

''The state government has taken a serious note of this and has assured full protection to the cable operators for their normal activities,'' he added.

The spokesman said the police officers concerned have been directed to provide adequate protection to all those cable operators who feel threatened of such militant action.

Earlier on Sunday, an obscure militant outfit, Al Madina Regiment, warned cable operators in Kashmir to close down their operations with ten days.

A spokesman of the outfit, Abdullah Malik, in a statement to a local news agency, said the group has taken strong strong note of the growing immodesty in the Kashmiri society.

He alleged that the cable operators were airing obscene programmes and asked them to close down their operations in ten days time.


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