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Media gag in Kashmir

Srinagar, July 07, 2010:

Indian Army in Kashmir
Government has called in army in Srinagar to help contain protests. / File Pic: Javed Dar
Authorities in Indian administered Kashmir have restricted the movement of journalists in summer capital Srinagar where a curfew was imposed last evening after three more people died in police firing on protestors.

The curfew passes of all journalists in Srinagar were cancelled last night, and fresh passes have not been issued.

Repeated killings by police and paramilitary of people protesting an earlier killing has turned into a vicious cycle in the region, where 15 people have died in police action since June 11, when a teenager reportedly returning home from tuitions was fatally hit by a tear gas shell in Srinagar.

The government has called in army for help, which conducted flag marches at some locations in Srinagar.

Many reporters who tried to report to their offices Wednesday were stopped.

At the press enclave in Lal Chowk Srinagar, which houses most of the media offices, police has forced journalists to stay indoors.

“I was standing in the (Press) colony when police came and snatched the camera of a video journalist standing there,” said photojournalist Javed Dar.

Dar rushed inside a nearby newspaper office, as police chased everyone in.

“They are not letting us move an inch,” said Dar.

The restrictions are likely to hit the publication of Srinagar based dailies, besides affecting the work of the city based correspondents of national and international media houses.

On Tuesday paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force men beat up photojournalists covering protests during the funeral procession of youth killed in police fire in Srinagar.

Around 12 photojournalists were injured in the incident.

In 2008 government enforced strict restrictions on movement of journalists during the Amarnath land row agitation.

Scribes were beaten up while reporting to office or covering events and local dailies failed to hit the stands for days.

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