Pulwama gunfight: Police assault two photojournalists – chandigarh
Two photojournalists were allegedly assaulted by the police while they were covering a gunfight between militants and security forces at a village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama on Tuesday.
Kamran Yousuf, a multimedia journalist working with an online portal and Faisal Bashir, a freelancer, were beaten up by policemen near the gunfight site at Marwal Kakapora in Pulwama. Yousuf’s right leg was fractured and he had to be hospitalised at a hospital in Srinagar.
Kamran said, “Many journalists had reached the outer security ring near the encounter site in the morning to cover the incident and were taking pictures when the CRPF personnel present told them to move a bit farther from the spot. When we started leaving, suddenly some policemen came rushing towards me. They told me to stop and simply started raining batons without asking anything.”
“I was surrounded by them and somehow managed to escape. They even chased after me,” he said.
Faisal Bashir also said that he was assaulted without a reason. “I was on the bund of the Jhelum when they told me to come down. They rained batons on my back and also hit my camera. After assaulting me they caught hold of Kamran, who was behind me,” he said.
Police in a statement said: “Today an exchange of fire took place at village Marwal between terrorists and SFs. Cordon was placed to prevent people from venturing inside as that would have endangered their security. However some media persons tried to move closer, they were duly stopped”.
The incident has caused outrage among journalists, with two prominent bodies – the Kashmir Press Club (KPC) and Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) – slamming police for the assault.The two bodies asked LG and police top brass to ‘sensitise’ the cops about working of media persons.
Senior journalist Yusuf Jameel said that thrashing,harassing & intimidating journalists in Kashmir was not new. “We’ve lived with & endured it for yrs.What is,however,more disgusting rather despicable is the authorities,after every such incident,assuring “it will not happen again’.I see it also as rubbing salt in the wound,” he said in a tweet (sic).