SRINAGAR: Private cable operators in Indian held-Kashmir (IHK) were ordered on Saturday to stop transmission of 34 Pakistani and Gulf-based channels in ‘non permitted’ list of India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry or face action. Narendra Modi-led government has asked the Jammu and Kashmir government, of which his party BJP is an ally, to suspend licences of local cable operators who violate the ‘non permitted’ list. An order, issued by J&K government’s Home Department on Saturday, states that these channels which include PTV Sports and Ary Zauq can “incite violence” and potentially “threaten law and order” situation in Kashmir. The list of banned channels also includes news and Islamic channels. Dozens of news, entertainment and Islamic channels beamed from Pakistan and the Gulf countries are very popular among people in Kashmir where Indian journalists and TV news channels face credibility crisis for their blindfolded belief of authorities and toeing official line. The move to ban these channels comes after the authorities banned 22 social media websites and instant messaging services like Facebook and Whatsapp last month in a desperate bid to curb anti-India and pro-freedom protests in the disputed territory. Following the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani in an encounter that sparked off civilian uprising in Kashmir, authorities on July 17 last year banned newspaper publication for three days and a major printing press was shut in a sweeping information blackout. As protests refused to die, the government on September 1 ordered all private cable operators to stop airing local news channels – KBC, Gulistan TV, Munsiff TV, JK Channel and Insaaf TV, failing which they ordered action under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation Act, 1995). In 2009, following mass agitation against the alleged double rape and murder in Shopian, cable news operators were asked to reduce the airtime of news. But the worst came in 2010 uprising when more than 120 civilian protesters, mostly teenagers, were killed to curb protests against the Indian regime. Cable operators were issued several ‘advisories’ to ‘tone down’ their coverage followed by another order directing all local channels to slash airtime of news and current affairs shows to 15 minutes, at a stipulated time every day in 24 hours. However as the situation deteriorated in the Valley, the channels were asked to stop broadcasting news altogether. The cable operators were also asked to take off air Iran’s news channel Press TV.