NEW YORK - Describing media situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir as "dire", the Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent watchdog, has called on Indian authorities to protect journalists and lift restrictions on media workers in the curfew-bound state. "The situation for the news media in Kashmir is dire," CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said in a statement Friday. "We call on the Indian authorities to immediately allow broadcasters to return to air and to ensure that journalists can move about freely. It is vital that news gets out during such a chaotic time in the region." Srinagar newspapers did not reach the stands today for the fifth consecutive day and cable operators shut down international news broadcasts on Thursday because of an almost uninterrupted government-imposed curfew, the CPJ said in a press release, citing news reports that are still being published sporadically online. Local television news broadcasts were ordered off the air on Sunday, it said. Officials have been holding talks with cable operators and newspaper editors but no resolution has yet been reached. The CPJ cited a BBC report saying that security forces shot and killed cameraman Javed Ahmed Mir on August 13 while he was waiting for an equipment van to arrive from a local news channel he worked for part-time. Srinagar-based newspapers last went to print on Sunday, but distribution was curtailed by a 24-hour curfew imposed in the early hours that morning to thwart anti-govt protests, the press release said.  Officials banned local news and current affairs programming in a letter sent to cable operators on Sunday, it said.  News reports published online from the Kashmir Valley said that some cable operators withdrew all remaining Indian and international news broadcasts on Thursday in protest against the continuing govt ban.