Free flow of information blocked in IOK

Internet ban puts students in trauma

Srinagar, December 29 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, free flow of information has been blocked and journalists continue to face severe restrictions in all processes of news gathering, verification and dissemination.

A latest report published in the Telegraph, based in Kolkata, has said that the local press bore the brunt of the Internet blockade as its functioning was crippled. The report while highlighting the difficulties faced by the IOK press said that what got published in prominent local English dailies was a reflection of the censorship and government pressure on the press. It said that the largest circulated daily of Kashmir, for example, avoided publishing editorials on the emerging situation for months after August 5 and instead wrote and commented on issues like secrets of nature, health, medicines and poetry. The report pointed out that there was little or no coverage of how people suffered after the communications blockade and clampdown was imposed.

The newspaper informed that prominent dailies of Kashmir also had no reports on the effects of the total communication shutdown on everyday lives of people, arrests of thousands of local youths, torture, crippling of healthcare and other emergency services. Online editions of most local dailies remained suspended. The newspaper said that intelligence agencies and police summoned and questioned several journalists about the source of reports filed after August 5, which created an atmosphere of fear among local reporters and editors.

Meanwhile, the absence of Internet facility and the continued lockdown, which enter 147th consecutive day, today, put the Kashmiri students in a trauma as they could not apply for scholarships and different competitive exams outside. Besides, 2019 has been the year of academic losses in occupied Kashmir. The students did not attend their classes from August and the three-month-long winter break, announced from December 10, which means that they will not be able to attend classes for straight eight months.

On the other hand, the fringes of the famous Dal Lake froze, today, as the mercury continued its free-fall in Srinagar which experienced the coldest night of the season at minus 6.2 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature across the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region stayed several degrees below the freezing point, intensifying the cold wave in the occupied territory.

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