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TV channels spreading vicious propaganda against Kashmiris: Sharma tells Home Minister

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New Delhi, Jan 11: Government of India’s ‘Special Representative’ on Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, has requested Home Minister Rajnath Singh to convene a meeting with authorities of certain television news channels to ask them to be careful against spreading “vicious propaganda” against Kashmiris, a media report said on Thursday.
Quoting a source, The Hindu reported that at least four news channels routinely aired stories exaggerating events in the Kashmir Valley, defeating the dialogue and peace process initiated by the Centre.
“The meeting with the channel representatives would be convened shortly,” the source was quoted as saying.
The report said that another official, however, said the Centre would tread cautiously on the subject as it did not want to impinge on the “freedom of the press”.
“Sometimes these channels are just making a mountain out of a molehill. Many times, the debates are vitriolic and are distant from facts on the ground. This gives fodder to secessionist forces in the Kashmir Valley to sow hatred against the government,” a senior Home Ministry official was quoted as saying by the report.
Several delegations who had called on Sharma during his Kashmir visits had complained that a few news channels were propagating a negative image of Kashmiris.
Sharma, a former Intelligence Bureau chief, was appointed Special Representative by the Centre in October 2017 for carrying forward the dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir.
Also, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had on several occasions, expressed her displeasure and had asked the Centre to address the issue of news channels going overboard when it comes to reporting events in the Valley.
Mehbooba had lambasted at television anchors based in New Delhi for portraying Kashmir in a bad light.

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