Kashmir Situation Intensifies, Police Shut Down Newspapers, Presses, Arrest Journalists

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in June 2014, a month after assuming office, “Our democracy will not sustain if we can’t guarantee freedom of speech and expression.”

But governments do not always share these values, taking harsh actions to criminalise freedom of expression. As Kashmir continues to boil following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8, the government in the Valley led by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has launched unprecedented clampdown on the local media, apparently with an aim to block news and information to quell the rebellion in Kashmir.

The police allegedly raided the printing press of major English and Urdu dailies – Greater Kashmir, Kashmir Reader and Kashmir Uzma– on Friday night and seized newspaper copies and detained some of the technical staff.