The website of 'The Kashmir Walla' has been blocked in India under the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 by the Government of India, according to a statement published by the portal.

Besides the website, 'The Kashmir Walla' says its Facebook page and Twitter account have also been blocked in India.

'The Kashmir Walla' is a Jammu and Kashmir-centric news and opinion website founded in 2009 by Fahad Shah, who is currently in jail.

Around the time of the blocking of the website, 'The Kashmir Walla' are in the process of vacating their office in J&K capital Srinagar as the landlord has evicted them from the site, according to the statementl.

'The Kashmir Walla' Interim Editor Yashraj Sharma said they learnt from the portal's server provider that the government has blocked their website.

In a statement, The Kashmir Walla said, “The Kashmir Walla is an independent news site based in Srinagar that has been covering developments in Jammu and Kashmir without fear or favour for more than 12 years. For the past 18 months, however, we’ve lived a horrifying nightmare – with the arrest and imprisonment of our founder-editor, Fahad Shah, and the harassment of our reporters and staff, amid an already inhospitable climate for journalism in the region.”

The statement says on Saturday, August 19, 2023, they woke up to learn that access to their website and social media accounts was blocked.

“When we contacted our server provider on Saturday morning to ask why was inaccessible, they informed us that our website has been blocked in India by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under the IT Act, 2000. Next, we discovered that our Facebook page –with nearly half a million followers– had been removed. As had our Twitter account 'in response to a legal demand'. In tandem with this move, we have also now been served an eviction notice by the landlord of our office in Srinagar and we are in process of evicting the office," says the statement.

The statement said founder-editor Shah was arrested in February 2022 over the coverage of a gunfight.

“It was the beginning of the saga of his revolving door arrests. He went on to be arrested five times within four months. Three FIRs under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and one Public Safety Act have been registered against him," saus the statement.

It further says, "In April 2022, the State Investigation Agency (SIA) raided our office and Shah’s home in Srinagar for an investigation into an opinion piece published 11 years ago, in 2011. During the raid, most of our gadgets were seized, reporters were interrogated, and all documents were scrutinized. Since then, our interim editor has been summoned and questioned by the SIA multiple times. Shah remains imprisoned in this case in Jammu’s Kot Bhalwal jail - 300 kms away from home.”

Sajad Gul, who worked briefly with 'The Kashmir Walla' as a trainee reporter remains in a prison in Uttar Pradesh under the Public Safety Act. He was initially arrested in January 2022.

The statement says, “We are not aware of the specifics of why our website has been blocked in India; why our Facebook page has been removed; and why our Twitter account has been withheld. We have not been served any notice nor is there any official order regarding these actions that is in the public domain so far...This opaque censorship is gut-wrenching. There isn’t a lot left for us to say anymore. Since 2011, The Kashmir Walla has strived to remain an independent, credible, and courageous voice of the region in the face of unimaginable pressure from the authorities while we watched our being ripped apart, bit by bit.”

Saying that the organisation is processing the ongoing events, The Kashmir Walla's statement further says the portal's story is "the tale of the rise and fall of press freedom in the region".