The administration of Jammu and Kashmir took action on digital media on Tuesday, when it banned the operations of seven local news portals operating in the Ramban district for "peddling fake news and maligning the image of the government." This was the administration's first major crackdown on digital media.
The following news portals have been banned: United News Urdu, which is managed by a person named Latief Raza of Sangaldan; VD News, which is managed by Charanjit Bali of Ukhral; News Verse India, which is managed by Mubashir Nazir of Ukhral; Current News of India, which is managed by Zulfiqar Bhat of Sangaldan; News Bureau of India, which is managed by Sajad Ramyal of Maligam Pogal; Today (Credentials not known).
In exercising the powers vested in him under Section 144 of the CrPC, Ramban District Magistrate Mussarat Islam issued the ban order. He pointed out that "any person associated with the above fake news portals shall be immediately booked under the extant rules governing the subject if found operating in the district and peddling fake news."
Additionally, the District Magistrate has requested that the Senior Superintendent of Police in Ramban carries out the order to ban in its entirety, as well as that the District Information Officer "maintain close vigilance on the operations of any more fake news portals which shall also be restrained/banned after subsequent rounds of scrutiny."
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