More than six portals allegedly peddling fake news and maligning the image of the Jammu and Kashmir government were banned in the Ramban district on Tuesday, an official order said.
District Magistrate Mussarat Islam ordered the ban after verifying the credentials of their operators from the police and information department following a large number of complaints from people and public servants regarding harassment by them.
The portals banned included United News Urdu, VD News, News Verse India, Current News of India, News Bureau of India, Today News Line, and CHRT News Sangaldan and were operating without any registration or permission from the competent authority, the order said.
"It is the paramount duty of the district administration to ensure peace and maintenance of law and order within the territorial jurisdiction of district Ramban by preventing operation of illegal news portals peddling fake news and maligning the image of the government," it said. "... Whereas, there is every apprehension that if the operations of these fake news portals remain unchecked, the peaceful fabric of the district shall be disturbed...," Islam said in his order issued under section 144 CrPC.
Islam also said it has become important to prevent the dissemination of fake news in the district by banning the operations of these portals with immediate effect.
"Any person associated with these fake news portals shall be immediately booked under the extant rules governing the subject if found operating in the district and peddling fake news," the order said, directing the Senior Superintendent of Police of Ramban to implement it in a letter and spirit.