Srinagar, July 18 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the authorities have ordered the cable operators to immediately shut private satellite channels, mostly Islamic channels from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, in the name of maintaining peace and tranquility in the territory.

Furious over the diktat, all Kashmir cable operators have called an emergency meeting in Srinagar, tomorrow, to chalk out the future course of action.

As per the order issued by the additional district commissioner (ADC), Srinagar, sent to heads of cable operators in Srinagar, the cable operators have been accused of telecasting and transmitting unpermitted and banned private satellite channels within the jurisdiction of Srinagar district.

“…you are telecasting and transmitting unpermitted and banned private satellite channels within Srinagar,” reads the order issued by the ADC Srinagar to cable operators. “It has become necessary and expedient in the larger interest of public and maintenance of peace and tranquility to prohibit you from transmitting non-permitted TV channels….”

The order further reads, “….you are hereby directed to immediately stop telecasting/transmitting non-permitted TV channels/banned private satellite channels within three days.”

The cable operators have been asked to furnish the notarised affidavit before the ADC Srinagar. In case the cable operators fail to submit the affidavit, the order reads, “Action will be taken against you”.

Head of SEN Cable Network, Amjad Mir said that they had received the copy of order. “We have been asked to close almost 30 channels that include Geo, ARY, QTV, Saudi Quran, Saudi Hadi, Karbala, Paigham, Peace TV Urdu, Haadi, Noor, Sehar, Madani, Saudi Sunah, Paigham and others,” he said.

A cable operator based in Srinagar said he fails to understand how a religious channel like Saudi Quran can pose a threat to peace in Kashmir. “Whenever Kashmir witnessed uprising, we were asked to shut the channels. Almost ten thousand people are earning livelihood directly from the cable business in Kashmir. If situation remains same, we will be forced to cut the size of the staff,” he said, wishing not to be named.

Meanwhile, the forum led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in a statement issued in Srinagar strongly denounced the occupation authorities for ordering the cable operators to shut private satellite channels, mostly Islamic channels, in the territory terming it a dictatorial attitude.

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