"He knew the truth that we need to struggle for our rights and if that meant spilling blood, even his own."
As Kashmir is under yet another lockdown since August last year, cases of anxiety disorders and depression among youth see a spike.
“He was not a militant. He was innocent. Innocent! Innocent! My brother was innocent, and they killed him.”
When the troops raided their neighbours, “my father and I locked our door, and hid in the attic,” says 12-year-old Muntazir Ahmad Mir. “The forces kept saying, ‘Saalo, baahar niklo!’”
The trademark move of communication gag came after the operational commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, Riyaz Naikoo, was killed in a gunfight in Pulwama.
Nobody knew his name. His bandaged face was soaked in blood; he couldn’t speak either—the blood had dried up and sealed his lips.
A voice dutifully informed her that a patient whose blood samples she had taken earlier that day for a malaria test had instead shown symptoms for COVID-19. “Be cautious,” the line hung up.
In Kashmir, the Indian establishment is curbing freedom of the press in the same breath as it vows to defend it. It is the only explanation for its priorities – interrogating journalists over what the police has slyly termed “fake news” and “glorification of terrorism” – amid a spreading pandemic.
As the undeniable pressure mounts up on the local newspapers and its reporters, The Kashmir Walla asked editors and media watchers: what is the future of news in Kashmir?
Kashmiri journalist Qazi Shibli returned home on the first day of the month of Ramzan after spending nine-months in jail.