KEG, KPC condemn use of force against scribes

Kashmir Editors’ Guild (KEG) has condemned the use of force against the scribes who were covering the gun battle at Marwal Pampore today. At least one of them, Kamran Yousuf, was injured in the attack by the cops. Kamran works for a Delhi based news portal.

“Kamran told reporters that he had gone to cover the encounter and well before he could start work, paramilitary men asked him to go away. As he was moving away from the spot, the security detail of a DySP rank police officer pounced upon him without any reason and beat him ruthlessly. He somehow fled and reached the hospital with the help of his colleagues where the doctors treated him. He will have to stay bed-ridden for many days owing to his leg injury,” a KEG press statement said.

KEG condemned the use of force against the media persons. The editors’ body asked the authorities to permit the media in delivering their professional duties. “KEG is demanding the police leadership in Kashmir to sensitise the field staff about the operations of the media and investigate the Marwal assault,” the statement said.

“Worth mentioning here the Marwal attack is not the first incident of its kind. In fact, it has emerged as a routine for the police and security forces to assault the journalists while covering the happenings on the ground.

“The Guild wants the LG Jammu and Kashmir to personally look into the assault,” the KED said.

Kashmir Press Club protests

The Kashmir Press Club on Tuesday strongly condemned the thrashing of journalists by Jammu and Kashmir Police in Pulwama district.

“The journalists were beaten by the police while they were covering a gunfight between militants and government forces in Marwal Kakapora village in south Kashmir today morning,” read a statement issued by the journalists’ body.

“One multimedia journalist Kamran Yousuf received injuries due to the thrashing by the police and was rushed to SMHS Hospital in Srinagar for treatment,” it said.

“Kamran told the Kashmir Press Club that he was at the encounter site along with a few more photojournalists today morning when a group of policemen caught hold of him and started beating him with lathis without any reason,” added the statement. “He said that he somehow managed to run away. He has received injuries with doctors having detected fracture in his leg.”

“Going by the account of Kamran, it is clear that the police has targeted the journalists to stop them from carrying out their professional work which is reprehensible,” read the statement.

“The Club wants to make it clear that this is not the first incident where journalists have been targeted by the forces and stopped from carrying out their professional work. In the past too many such incidents of harassment, thrashing and summons to media persons have been brought to the notice of the authorities at the highest level.”

The Press Club while demanding strong action against the policemen involved in today’s incident urged the top brass of the J&K Police and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to take note of such difficulties media persons face while delivering their duties on the ground.

The Press Club urged the authorities particularly the police to sanitise their ranks about respecting and upholding the press freedom in Kashmir.