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Terror grip: J&K cable TV goes off air again

The state authorities again offered security to the cable TV operators to resume their business.

india Updated: May 12, 2006 21:11 IST

Fresh threats fromterror groups on Friday led to cable TV operations closing down again after they had just been resumed.

In the wake of threats from a combine of four terror groups, cable operators shut services, which had been resumed on Thursday evening.

"We don't want to take any chances. We suspended operations after a meeting of cable operators in Srinagar. It is a difficult situation that we are facing," said a cable operator.

Abdullah Mubarik, who identified himself as the spokesman of four terror groups -- Jaish-e-Mohammad, Harkat-ul-Mujaheedin, Al-Madina Regiment and Al-Badr -- in a statement warned cable operators of serious consequences if they went on air.

"We have decided to continue the ban on cable TV in Kashmir. The cable TV is leading the Kashmiri youth astray. Other militant groups should join us to safeguard the future of our youth," he said.

The cable operators had resumed their operations in Srinagar and other towns on Thursday after statements by separatist Dukhtaran-e-Milat chief Asiya Andrabi and Hizb-ul-Mujaheedin termed the ban as a "handiwork of government agencies".

But on Friday, the terror combine spokesman Mubarik lashed out at Dukhtaran chief, saying, "Sister Asiya should never try to be a spokesperson for the underground groups.

"Asiya should concentrate on her activities instead while serving the cause of Islam."

The state authorities again offered security to the cable TV operators to resume their business.

However, a cable operator said on condition of anonymity, "The fresh threat has forced us to stop our business. We will watch the situation but for the time being, operations have been suspended."

"We had already decided to black out some channels. It is the most difficult time for all of us. We have invested a lot of money to raise the infrastructure, but the threats seem to be serious."

First Published: May 12, 2006 21:11 IST