The Srinagar office of the English Daily Kashmir Times was shuttered by the Indian Jammu and Kashmir administration without notice.
“Today, Estates Dept locked our office without any due process of cancellation & eviction, same way as I was evicted from a flat in Jammu, where my belongings including valuables were handed over to “new allottee”. Vendetta for speaking out! No due process followed. How peevish!” said Anuradha Bhasin, the owner and executive editor of Kashmir Times.
According to the Kashmir Times management, no warning or notice given to the publication prior to the shuttering order.
The closure came just days after the employees of a wire service, “Kashmir News Service”, were asked to leave their offices without proper notice.
Bhasin speculated that the government was retaliating for speaking out against the government and moving the Supreme Court against media restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir after the Center abrogated Article 370 in August 2019.
The Indian Jammu and Kashmir administration states Department officials defended that they only repossessed a house allotted to the newspaper’s deceased founder Ved Bhasin.
Deputy Director of Estates, Mohammad Aslam explained that the newspaper has been allotted two buildings and that they only locked the office.
Bhasin said vowed to fight the eviction order while other media outlets in the region expressed their support.