New Delhi: In wake of the government’s decision of stopping advertisements to two Srinagar-based newspapers namely Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader, several prominent newspapers in the valley on Sunday published blank front pages to protest against the same.Also Read - Pulwama 2-year Anniversary: Netizens Remember Sacrifice of 40 CRPF Soldiers Who Were Martyred on February 14, 2019

In the aftermath of Pulwama Terror Attack of February 14, the Centre reportedly stopped advertisements to the two major dailies. Also Read - Ex Pakistan Diplomat Claims India Killed 300 Terrorists in Balakot Airstrike

“In protest against unexplained denial of government advertisements to Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Reader,” read the blank front pages of the newspapers published in the Valley today. Also Read - Pak Accepting Truth About Pulwama Attack Exposes Real Face of Those Who Questioned It: PM Modi

Amidst the protest, the guild said that “the professional capacities of Kashmir media have been acknowledged world over” as it has maintained a neutral strand at all costs.

“It will continue to do so. The professional capacities of Kashmir media have been acknowledged world over. The Press Council of India has also issued a detailed report in 2018, detailing the issues and challenges that the Kashmir media is facing. It also addressed certain misconceptions about the media in the report. The guild also wants to reiterate that the attempts at strangulating the media is in continuation of what has happened in last more than three decades,” it added.

The government’s ban has been condemned by former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah too.

Mehbooba had taken to Twitter to criticise the ban. “For reasons best known to him, the Guvs (governor’s) admin (administration) in J&K has gone beyond its brief & is in no mood to step back. The decision to stop giving ads to local newspapers GK (Greater Kashmir) & Kashmir Reader is a punitive measure to force them into submission. Are they trying to stifle free press?” she said.

“In a classic case of shooting the messenger, the state government is reported to have blocked Greater Kashmir newspaper group from any government advertisements. If true I’m not sure what this move is meant to achieve other than to create a pliant, subservient media,” Omar had asserted.