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HomeNews ReportsNYT publishes op-ed claiming ‘Modi’s assault on press freedom’ by Anuradha Bhasin, who wanted...

NYT publishes op-ed claiming ‘Modi’s assault on press freedom’ by Anuradha Bhasin, who wanted to keep govt house allotted to her father even after his death

Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin alleged that the Modi-led government had imposed 'repressive' media policies in the country and was deliberately targeting the media organizations who chose to voice opinion against it or the Prime Minister.

On March 8, Anuradha Bhasin, the Executive Editor of The Kashmir Times, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times criticizing PM Modi’s stance against the Indian media and its freedom of expression. Donning an anti-India outlook on the international media platform, she alleged that the Modi-led government had imposed ‘repressive’ media policies in the country and was deliberately targeting the media organizations who chose to voice opinion against the govt or the Prime Minister.

In the article titled ‘Modi’s final assault on India’s Press Freedom has begun’, Bhasin who has been a vocal critic of the Indian establishment for a while said that her outlet, The Kashmir Times, could not survive Modi. She also blatantly alleged that the government was intimidating media outlets into serving as mouthpieces and creating an information vacuum in the UT.

“Journalists are routinely summoned by the police, interrogated, and threatened with charges such as income tax violations or terrorism or separatism. Several prominent journalists have been detained or sentenced to jail terms. We work under a cloud of fear. Many journalists self-censor or simply quit. Fearing arrest, some have fled into exile overseas,” she claimed.

“Journalism has always been hazardous in Kashmir. India and Pakistan both claim the mountainous region, which has been plagued by war and a separatist insurgency for decades. Journalists have been caught in the middle, threatened and intimidated by Indian security forces and militants, both of whom have wanted to control how the story is being told. At least 19 journalists were killed in Kashmir between 1990 and 2018,” she added. She also stated that the actions of the Indian government were threats to the Indian democracy.

It is notable that the government of India seized one of the offices of the Kashmir Times in 2020 as the premises were allocated by the government to run the newspaper Kashmir Times. As reported earlier, the Jammu and Kashmir government had allocated two properties to ‘The Kashmir Times’. One of them was used as office space while the other served as the residence of Ved Bhasin, the founder of The Kashmir Times. Following his death in 2015, the administration had issued notices to the family to vacate the government-allocated residence.

However, Anuradha Bhasin who was supposed to hand over the government-allocated buildings after her father’s death, alleged that the administration had ‘locked down’ the newspaper’s office in Srinagar in an illegal manner.

Bhasin, who attempted to globally defame the Indian democracy and the government on March 8, is the daughter of late journalist Ved Bhasin, founder of the newspaper ‘The Kashmir Times’. She has been indulged in several anti-India activities and has connections with the ISI. Ved Bhasin, her father was also a staunch supporter of the ISI operations in Kashmir. He blatantly supported the idea of Kashmir’s separation from India.

According to the Open Source Intelligence Analysis (OSIA), the ‘journalist’ was a close friend of ISI mole Ghulam Nabi Fai in the United States. Fai, a Jamaat-e-Islami activist also praised Ved Bhasin after his death, saying that he was the only person who believed that the solution to Kashmir’s problem would be establishing believebelieved that solution to Kashmir’s problem would be establishment of a separate state.

Notably, Bhasin and Gautam Navalakha, accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case at present, also part of several ISI-sponsored conferences organized by Fai and his Kashmir American Council (KAC).

In the year 2011, she also extended support to Fai after he was accused of receiving money from the ISI for carrying out anti-India pursuit on Kashmir. Later, as per the OSIA, Fai was jailed for two years in the United States after he pled guilty of defrauding the US by concealing the transfer of millions of dollars from the ISI and using them for anti-India operations.

Bhasin however, kept on extending support to Fai. In her latest article, she has claimed that the Indian government is suppressing the voice of Kashmiri media and does not want it to show the real situation on ground. “Since he took power in 2014, Modi has systematically debased India’s democratic ideals, bending courts and other government machinery to his will. The media stands as one of the last remaining institutions capable of preventing India’s descent into authoritarianism. But if Modi succeeds in introducing the Kashmir model of information control to the rest of the country, it won’t be just press freedom that is at risk, but Indian democracy itself,” she was quoted as saying.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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