3 journalists thrashed by police near encounter site in Pulwama

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 9/16/2020 2:17:13 PM

SRINAGAR, Sep 15: Three photo and video journalists were allegedly beaten up and camera damaged by Jammu Kashmir Police, when they were covering an encounter which broke out in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday morning.
A gunfight broke out between government forces and militants in Marval area in Kakapora Pulwama on Tuesday morning and the journalists had reached the gun battle spot to do their professional duties.
The injured journalists were identified as Kamran Yousuf, working with NewsClick, Reshi Irshad and Faisal Bashir. They were punched, kicked and beaten with lathis. Yousuf has injuries on various parts of the body and a suspected fracture on his leg. The other two also received minor injuries.
Speaking with Kashmir Times, Kamran Yousuf said that when he and several other photo-journalists heard of the incident, they rushed to the spot. “But soon after I parked my vehicle, the CRPF personnel stopped us from proceeding,” he said. “All journalists were waiting at one spot when suddenly a Deputy Superintendent Police, accompanied by several other cops, came towards us. I was standing a little away from the others and they first pounced on me while the others tried to flee,” he said.
“I was surrounded by them. They beat me with batons, kicked and punched blows on me several times,” he said, adding that after that he tried to flee. “They followed me and kept raining in blows with their batons,” he said. “Had I not run fast, they would have killed me,” he added.
He somehow fled and reached the hospital with the help of his colleagues where the doctors treated him. “At SMHS hospital, an X-ray and USG scans revealed a minor bone injury. “The doctors suspect a fracture and I have been referred Bone and Joint hospital if the pain persists,” he told KTNS. He feared he may have to stay bed-ridden for many days owing to his leg injury.
Kamran Yousuf was earlier detained in 2017 by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and was subsequently released after seven months. “This is not the first time that journalists have been beaten up for performing their duties. This has to stop now,” he said.
According to a news agency, KNT, one of the eye-witness, a journalist, wishing anonymity, who was near the encounter site when journalists were beaten up in Marval area of Kakapora in Pulwama. The journalist said that he had reached the spot around 8 AM and while he was doing his job, some Forces personnel came and started beating up the journalists who were present on the spot.
While talking to KNT, Reshi Irshad said, “My camera was also damaged as the forces personnel started beating us without any reason and didn’t listen to us as we were just doing our job.”
According to a report in Clarion India when Superintendent of Police Pulwama Ashish Kumar Mishra was contacted for his comments, he denied that the police beat up Yousuf, and added, “he (Yousuf) is habitual of making false allegations”.



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