Police beat photo-journalists, 6 injured

A group of journalists was beaten by police at Batamaloo here on Saturday, injuring six of them.
Police beat photo-journalists, 6 injured
Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK

A group of journalists was beaten by police at Batamaloo here on Saturday, injuring six of them.

All the injured journalists were rushed to nearest hospitals by their colleagues where they were provided necessary medical treatment.

The photojournalists affiliated with different media houses were first stopped at Batamaloo Chowk and asked to not cover the situation.

The journalists said that they were targeted on the orders of Station House Officer (SHO) Batamaloo.

"It was SHO Nisar Ahmad who instigated and directed policemen to beat us. Even a constable while beating us accused journalists of writing against police officers of Batamaloo area," said Jahangir Shah, a photojournalist.

"First they dishonored our curfew passed signed by District Magistrate. I tried to call District Magistrate, a police constable pounced upon me. SHO Batamaloo asked policemen 'teach them a lesson.' All these policemen who targeted us were non-Kashmiris and their bias and anger was visible when they threatened to kill us," said Aman Farooq, photojournalist of Greater Kashmir.

Mubashir Khan, another Greater Kashmir photojournalist, faced the maximum burnt while other photojournalists who fell prey to the police brutality include Aman Farooq (Greater Kashmir), Faisal Khan (Kashmir Reader), Shah Jahangir (CNS) Omar Asif (KNS), Bilal Bahadur (Kashmir Life).

It was only after the locals of Batamaloo raised alarm that they were released.

The journalists held sit-in at Batamaloo. As the news of their beating reached Press Enclave, media persons held sit-in there also and condemned the police action.

"We strongly condemn the beating of media persons. Time and again, police and CRPF have beaten the media persons. We will not demand any action against these policemen who beat our colleagues today. Because we know government is not interested in providing justice," said Habib Naqash, GK Photo Editor.

Niyaz Ellahi, senior editor local news gathering news agency CNS said that government has imposed indirect ban on media.

"We have witnessed the moves and strategy of present regime. There is no doubt that government has instructed police to beat media persons and stop them from performing their professional duties," Ellahi added.

Sahil Nazir, another journalist, said that police lacks the very spirit of professionalism.

Kashmir Press Photographers Association (KPPA) condemned the police action.

KPPA president Farooq Javaid said that they would state sit-in outside the residence of Chief Minister in case atrocities against media persons continue.

The KPPA spokesman said that they ended the sit-in after SSP Srinagar Amit Kumar assured action against the policemen who have manhandled photographers.

JKLF Vice-Chairman Bashir Ahmad Bhat has condemned the police action against media persons.

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