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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Omar says no media gag, newspapers chose not to print

PTI  Srinagar, February 13, 2013
First Published: 16:50 IST(13/2/2013) | Last Updated: 16:52 IST(13/2/2013)

As several media offices resumed functioning today after a gap of four days, J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said there was no ban imposed on publication of newspapers but the dailies had chosen not to print as curfew had made distribution impossible.

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"There is NO ban on newspapers in Kashmir. Papers are choosing not to print because restrictions make delivery of newspapers impossible," Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.com.

He said in case a ban had been imposed on newspapers, it would have been extended to their Internet editions as well, which was not the case.

"If there was a ban, then it would have extended to their Internet editions as well which are regularly being updated," he said.

He said the newspapers will resume publishing once the restrictions are eased.

"As the restrictions ease the newspapers will resume publication because the problem isn't with printing. It's with them being unable to (distribute)," he said.

"And those continuously going on about a "government gag" would be well advised to produce a single copy of this gag order," he added.

Newspapers hit the stands today after a gap of four days as authorities imposed curfew in Kashmir valley following hanging of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru on Saturday.

PCI chairperson Markandey Katju had written to Abdullah saying a short term restraint order on publication of newspapers may be justified in the wake of Afzal Guru's execution, but will be unreasonable if it goes on for a long time.

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