Detained journalist has been released: SP North
By Fahad Shah
Journalists were beaten up and one of them detained, today, when they were covering the post-Friday prayers protests in the Old City, here at Srinagar. Umar Mehraj, who works as video journalist for Associated Press says he, along with other journalists, was covering protests when Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and local policemen start beating. He said while beating, the forces were shouting, “Uthao Uthao video ab (Shoot. Shoot video now.).” Umar says his camera was broken and they were abused too.
The four journalists who were beaten up are, Showkat Shafi, who works as a freelancer with Al Jazeera English website, Yawar Kabli who works with Getty images and Kashmir Dispatch, and Umar Mehraj. Shahid Tantray, who works with Dainik Bhaskar was beaten up to pulp and later detained. This happened just three months after two photojournalists, Showkat Shafi and a Mexican photojournalist were thrashed at Nowhatta.
An eyewitness, a photojournalist, Zuhaib Muhammad, said, “We were covering protests when someone shouted, “They are coming. They are coming.” He said, “I turned and saw CRPF men jumping over protestors. They ran towards me and another colleague and we left from the spot to save ourselves. We went through lanes and by lanes but reached at a place where I saw CPRF men everywhere. Protestors were lying injured on the ground. While crossing a road some CRPF men shouted, ‘Pakdo Pakdo’ (catch catch). But we ran from there and they could just hit me once on my back.”
The injured journalists were shifted to S K Institute of Medical Sciences hospital. “Two of the injured have been discharged from the hospital and Umar will be discharged later in the night,” said Umar’s cousin, Imran.
Shahid, who was in detention has been released. Confirming the release Superintendent of Police (North), Showkat Hussain told The Kashmir Walla over phone, “We have released him a while ago.”