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Kashmir newspapers to resume as logjam ends

The government had put curbs on the media on Saturday, July 16, and lifted the ban on Tuesday, saying the decision taken at some "local" level was a "mistake"

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Kashmir Valley Violence. Image Source: www.thehindu.com/
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Kashmir newspapers are expected to hit the stands on Thursday, July 20, after the government on Wednesday “apologised” for media curbs and assured Srinagar-based editors that their work won’t be hindered by the heightened security in the wake of unrest that has left over 40 people dead and hundreds injured in the Kashmir Valley.

The government had put curbs on the media on Saturday, July 16, and lifted the ban on Tuesday, saying the decision taken at some “local” level was a “mistake”.

But newspapers refused print runs, alleging that the authorities were putting the onus on them and denying that the government had banned newspaper publications in the valley.

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The logjam was resolved in a meeting on Wednesday between Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and editors of Srinagar-based newspapers.

According to an official spokesperson, Mehbooba Mufti urged the media to play “a responsive and proactive role in tiding over the enormous challenges” facing the state and its people.

The Chief Minister told the editors that the government was “committed to the independence of media at all costs and complaints of high-handedness against the press, if any, amid prevailing situation will be looked into”.

“Though there has been no deliberate attempt on the part of the government to impose any restrictions on the publication of newspapers. However, whatever has happened, because of some communication gap, is regrettable,” Mehbooba Mufti told them, according to a statement.

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The Chief Minister assured the editors that the government would facilitate “smooth movement of journalists and other newspaper staff to ensure that they can perform their professional duties in a hassle-free manner”.

The editors in a statement said that the Chief Minister “apologised” to them for the decision that was “unintended”.

The editors later decided to resume publication “hoping the resumption will remain unobstructed”. (IANS)

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President Ram Nath Kovind Pays His Condolences to Former UN Chief Kofi Annan

Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001 "for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world".

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India condoles former UN chief Kofi Annan's death.
India condoles former UN chief Kofi Annan's death. Flickr

India on Saturday condoled the death of former UN Secretary General and Nobel laureate Kofi Annan with President Ram Nath Kovind expressing his condolences to the former Ghanaian diplomat’s family and the UN community as a whole.

“Sorry to learn of the passing of former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan,” Kovind said on the Rashtrapati Bhavan Twitter handle.

“My condolences to his family and to the UN community,” he stated.

Annan, 80, died on Saturday in Switzerland after a short illness, with his wife and three children by his side.

“It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that the former Secretary General of the UN and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness,” his family said.

Kofi Annan
Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006. Flickr

Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006. He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

He also led a UN commission to investigate the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar.

The Myanmar government led by Aung San Suu Kyi supported Annan’s recommendations on the crisis in the country’s Rakhine State.

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Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001 “for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world”.

His tenure as the UN chief coincided with the Iraq war and the HIV/Aids pandemic. (IANS)