Kashmiri photojournalist alleges harassment, vandalism by police

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On Friday evening, a Srinagar-based photojournalist, Idrees Abbas, alleged that the Jammu and Kashmir Police beat up his father and vandalised his house in Srinagar’s Alamgari Bazar, while chasing away Shia Muslim mourners in the area.

Mr. Abbas had just arrived home after covering a Muharram procession in Lal Chowk, he told The Kashmir Walla, when the police were chasing away the mourners who attempted to take out a procession in Zadibal area of the city. “[The police] thought two of them are in our home, so they started banging our door heavily,” he said. “When my father asked for the reason, they hurled stones at our house windows.”

He added: “As soon my father opened the gate, they hit his head with a club and he fainted.”

Talking to The Kashmir Walla, Station House Officer, Zadibal, Javed Ahmad said, “Idrees, who has posted this, we are verifying this. He should attend our station and show us which window was broken and who was beaten up. We have sent our [Investigation Officer] [and] he is verifying the fact.”

Authorities had imposed strict restrictions in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk and adjoining areas to disallow the processions. The police detained many mourners who tried to defy restrictions in Srinagar on the 8th day of Muharram. The curbs were mainly imposed in Batamaloo, Shaheed Gunj, Karanagar, Maisuma, Kothibagh, Shergrahi, Kralkhu, and Ram Munshibagh areas of the city.

Mr. Abbas, however, viewed the incident as an incident of excess by the police. “Brutality at the peak. Police forces attacked my house, broke one of our window of my house, Harrassed my family without any reason at Alamgari bazar,” he had tweeted soon after the incident.

Reporting by Gafira Qadir.

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