Srinagar: There have been no newspapers in the Valley for the last three days following the Afzal Guru execution. An unofficial media gag order has prohibited the publication of newspapers in the valley. The biggest news in a decade have been restricted from being reported, and the curbs are likely to continue till Friday.
It's a complete lockdown at Srinagar's press colony as print editions of various valley based papers have been prohibited from publication.
It was an unofficial gag order that came into place soon after the execution of Afzal Guru.
Although online editions of various papers are available but with internet services being partially withdrawn the news remained inaccessible. This is the third time in the last five years that local dailies were forced to suspend the publications due to restrictions imposed by the government. Last time papers were not published for days in 2008 and 2010.
The gag on the local media in the valley on hand and in the capital Kashmiri Journalist Iftikhar Gilani was detained for hours along with his family, soon after the execution. The son of the separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Iftikhar has often been prevented from carrying out his journalistic duties.
While the Press Council and the Editors Guild have expressed their concenrs over the detention of Geelani and the restrictions on the media in the valley following this execution, it is no secret that freedom of expression has a very different meaning in this part of the country. But for the journalists and editors in Srinagar, reporting on and printing one of the biggest stories in decades has been a no show.