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A cameraman was killed in the curfew-bound northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, and a near-total news blackout hit the main city of Srinagar last week. The nine-day curfew was lifted as the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began on 2 September, but Indian authorities continued to ban gatherings of more than four people.

The predominantly Muslim state has been embroiled in escalating anti-India protests since the local government promised a disputed tract of land to a Hindu shrine in June. Separatist groups in Kashmir seek independence or union with Pakistan.

The curfew was imposed on the eve of a planned separatist march and after security forces shot and killed cameraman Javed Ahmed Mir on 13 August.

The curfew prevented journalists from coming to work and stopped Srinagar newspapers from reaching newsstands for several days, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports. Several journalists complained of violence when police ignored government-issued curfew passes.

According to CPJ, local television news broadcasts were ordered off the air. Cable operators withdrew the remaining Indian and international news broadcasts a few days later in protest, say local news reports. The government denied banning international news, but the Pakistani news website "The News" said several Pakistani television stations had already been banned.

On 24 August, police in Srinagar assaulted at least 13 journalists, including some from India's two main news agencies, the Press Trust and United News, report the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF). IFJ says a paramilitary force controlled by the Indian Union Government reportedly had orders to prevent journalists from going to work.

Visit these links:
- CPJ:
- IFJ:
- RSF:
- Reuters on curfew being lifted:
(3 September 2008)

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