Two journalists have been detained in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district by the Jammu and Kashmir police in the last week for “questioning”. Both continue to be in detention – one among them for the past five days.
Salman Shah, 30, editor of an online weekly magazine – Kashmir First and 21-year-old Suhail Dar, a freelance journalist, both the residents of Anantnag district, have been detained as per their families.
On 8 October, at around 4pm, Dar had received a call from the police asking him to report to the Sadder Police station, Anantnag. Tariq Ahmad Dar, his elder brother told The Kashmir Walla: “He [Dar] went to the police station in the evening between 6 to 6:30pm. He has not been released since.”
Tariq said that the family went to the police station the next morning where they were told to come back in a few days. “They [police] are not telling us what the reason is. They have just kept him locked. At least we deserve to know the allegations [against him],” said Tariq.
Dar is a resident of Batengoo area of Anantnag, who has been working as a freelance journalist with local publications and is the only son staying with his father as his two brothers live separately.
Tariq further said that the family had again visited the police station today but “were told to come four days later”. “I had requested them to release him but the police said that we will have to wait for four more days,” he added.
The Kashmir Walla tried to reach out to the Station House Officer, Sadder Police Station, Anantnag, Masrat Mir on hearing the matter said that he doesn’t want to comment on the issue.
In a similar incident, on Tuesday, Salman Shah, was busy with his work at his home in Sheerpora area of Anantnag district when a team of police forces came to his house.
Imran Shah, 38, Salman’s elder brother while speaking to The Kashmir Walla said that the police from Sherbagh police post came to their house at around 7 pm and took him along with them. When the family questioned, they were asked to report to the police station the next morning.
“He has always been helpful,” said Imran, his brother. “I don’t understand why the authorities have taken him when he has done absolutely nothing.”
Imran said that the family is distressed as they have no idea why their kin was taken. Salman runs an online weekly magazine Kashmir First and supports his family.
Speaking to The Kashmir Walla, Majid Nadeem, head of Sherbagh Police Post in Anantnag, said that Shah has been detained for “questioning”.
“He is being questioned at the moment and as far as I know he will be released in the evening,” he said.