A fortnight after it was launched a popular radio show in which moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was a guest speaker has been taken off air.
“It shows to what extent surveillance and censorship is enforced and implemented on the people of the Valley by the state and central ruling agencies,” the Mirwaiz said in a statement.
From the first day of the Islamic month of fasting he has been appearing as a guest in Big Nun Chai, a breakfast music show on Big FM, talking to his audience about Islam.
The Mirwaiz, who is also the head cleric of the Jama Masjid in Srinagar, has said he was happy when the channel’s young team approached him for a socio-religious series for Ramadan. “It was apolitical and aimed at addressing the day-to-day religious, cultural and social challenges faced by the people here,” he said.
A channel official, however, told HT the programme was not meant to continue for the entire Ramadan.
“The channel believes in innovation and we will soon give our audience in Kashmir a new and innovative programme,” said the official, who did not want to be named.
“The programme was informative, the language was so simple and the topics were very informative. How can they stop the programme mid-way?” asked Mustaq Ahmad, a regular listener.