Photojournalist detained in midnight raid in Srinagar

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A Srinagar-based photojournalist was detained in a mid-night raid from his residence in Dalgate area of the city last night.

Mukhtar Zahoor, 27, works as a stringer with the BBC and has been published in Al Jazeera, The Caravan, Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal

As per his family, last night at around 12:30am, he received a phone call from someone asking him to come downstairs to the main gate of his house. 

His sister Saima Zahoor, 23, told The Kashmir Walla that, “when he opened the gate, there was a group of armed personnel and the police force”.

“They asked for his name and when he replied ‘Mukhtar’, they took him along,” she said. “After taking him, they also took his camera. A police officer asked me to get my phone and he took that with him. He then asked me to clear all the things that were scattered in my brother’s room.” 

The family further said that when they enquired with the police, they assured it was for questioning and to come to the police station Ram Munshi Bagh in the morning. 

Next morning at 10am, the family was told that Mukhtar was there but the family should come back in the evening at 5pm instead.  

Showkat Ahmad, the president of the Mohalla Khalpora Dalgate, told The Kashmir Walla that at midnight, the police came and took him along with them.

Ahmad said that the police did not tell them why Muktar was detained but were asked to come in the morning. 

Next morning, Ahmad had gone to the police station along with the family members. “In the morning we were told that the officer is unavailable and they should come in the evening,” he added.

The Kashmir Walla spoke to the Station House Officer (SHO), Ram Munshi Bagh, Tauseef Meer, who said that the police had some suspicion and they are questioning him over the same. 

“We are questioning him at the moment. Everything is almost clear and most probably he will be released soon,” he said. 

However, he didn’t give any exact reasons for his detention. 

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