Authors Posts by Kabir Agarwal

Kabir Agarwal

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Balraj Dungar (centre) along with other members speaking to media. Photograph by Munish Kumar When Mohammed Iqbal (36) left his home in Hapur on the morning of 6 February 2017, he was carrying 40,000 rupees in cash. A cattle sales middleman by trade, his destination was the Bulandshahar cattle market — a weekly cattle market about 40 kilometres from his home — and his objective was to buy two buffaloes which he would sell onwards to a slaughterhouse in Hapur. This had been his routine every Monday for the last eleven years. “It was supposed to be routine,” Iqbal told

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One evening, when I got back to the hotel, I got a call from a friend asking if I had managed to reach safely. He had found himself in the middle of protests and stone-pelting around Lal Chowk area. For the last few days, people in and around Lal Chowk had begun to defy the ‘hartal’ call. Shops had started keeping half their shutters open even during ‘hartal’ hours. There were more and more street vendors each day selling essential commodities. By the time it was evening, Lal Chowk area would be full of people. In the stone pelting incident,

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A temple in Habba Kadal area of Srinagar. Photograph by Kabir Agarwal Early in the morning, I walked to the Barbar Shah area of Srinagar to meet a Kashmiri Pandit. He is one of the fore most voices representing the Pandits who did not leave the Valley. He was waiting for me on the road. We shook hands and he started to walk, expecting me to follow. I did. We walked through lanes which were not large enough to accommodate the two of us walking side by side. He would lead, I would obediently follow. At various points, he would

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A pellet injured boy at the ophthalmology ward of Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS) in Srinagar. Photograph by Ahmer Khan/Dawn The day began with a visit to the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS) in Srinagar. This is where most of the pellet gun victims have come for treatment. Since July 9, there have been more than 900 people admitted to this hospital with pellet injuries to their eyes. Some have been hit in both eyes. Doctors say that any kind of injury to eye which causes even temporary loss of vision is treated as a grievous injury. By

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A graffiti in Nawa Kadal area of downtown Srinagar, one of the most volatile areas in the city. Photograph by Kabir Agarwal I’m starting to get used to life without mobile internet. It is not that bad. There are a few adjustments to be made. I try and wrap up some of my internet communication in the morning before heading out and do the rest in the evening when I return. A couple of times I have been left deeply hurt when there were no non-group WhatsApp messages in the evening when I returned. Not having mobile internet has forced

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A group of journalists protesting against the ban on the daily Kashmir Reader newspaper in Press Enclave, Srinagar on 25 October 2016. Photograph by Kabir Agarwal A good night’s sleep under the belt, I headed to the Press Enclave in Srinagar to talk to a video journalist who has been reporting from Kashmir since 1979. He has been roughed up several times by the government forces. “Too many times to be able to count,” he says. He was of the opinion that it was more difficult for the press to report during the 2010 unrest than the present one, as

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This is the second part of a daily series - Kashmir Diary, written by Kabir Agarwal over the next few days of his stay in Kashmir.

21 October 2016 I did not manage good sleep on my first night in Srinagar, as I twisted, turned and tried to roll myself in the blanket provided. I was awake much before my alarm was to go off and kept trying, in vain, to get more sleep. As the alarm rang, I finally gave up and got up to get ready for my first appointment this time in Kashmir. I was to meet a senior journalist who has covered Kashmir for the BBC, Al Jazeera and Times of India, among others. Having not experienced winter in a long time,

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This is the first part of a daily series - Kashmir Diary, written by Kabir Agarwal over the next few days of his stay in Kashmir.

On 5 October, when I mentioned to my maternal grandmother that I might be going to Kashmir soon, she told me, “Please take me with you.” I explained to her that even I’m myself undecided about going, as I was yet to convince any editor to publish my stories. She was born in a Kashmiri Pandit family, but never actually lived in the Valley. She would often visit the Valley for long periods, stay with people previously unknown to her and come back having formed close friendships. She would write letters to them regularly, knit sweaters for them and send,

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Antoine Griezmann and Cristiano Ronaldo. Champions League Final, 2014 Moments before the final whistle, Sergio Ramos powered a header in to the back of the net and Real Madrid equalised. The expression on the face of their manager, Carlo Ancelotti, was one of relief. It was always going to go downhill from there for their city rivals, Atletico, who having scored the opening goal through Diego Godin in the 36th minute, sat back to defend their slender lead. After scoring the equaliser, the momentum was very much with Real Madrid going into extra time and they capitalised, achieving the much

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By Kabir Agarwal At his office in a western suburb of Mumbai, while sipping his daily cup of kehwa, Kashamendra Ganjoo recalls homeland. Ganjoo, now 63, grew up in his five storey home in Barbar Shah, Srinagar before his family had to leave in the 1990s. He still harbours a desire to return to his home. “Kashmir is never out of my mind. It is always in my memory. It is part of every breath I take. It defines me. It would complete me,” Ganjoo says, poignantly. “But, it is impossible to go back. Too much time has passed, too

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