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J&K Police Rough up Journalists at Protest Against Citizenship Act in Srinagar, Caught on Camera
Two journalists — Azaan Javaid, a special correspondent for ThePrint and Anees Zargar, J&K Bureau Chief of Newsclick — were allegedly beaten by the J&K police personnel outside Islamia College when they were recording video of the scene following the protests.
The J&K police officials beat up two journalists outside Islamia College in Srinagar on Tuesday. (Image : Twitter)
Srinagar: In a shocking incident, the Jammu and Kashmir police on Tuesday thrashed journalists in Srinagar as they were covering student clashes outside a college. Hitting out at the police the journalists said that it had become extremely challenging to work in the restive region.
Two journalists — Azaan Javaid, a special correspondent for ThePrint and Anees Zargar, J&K Bureau Chief of Newsclick — were allegedly beaten by the J&K police personnel outside Islamia College when they were recording video of the scene following the protests against Citizenship Act.
“We were recording videos of police detaining students when they (the police) started abusing us and snatched my mobile phone,” said Javaid. “After I protested and asked them to return my phone, the police personnel started to beating me in front of the SP of the area, Sajjad Shah and the SHO, Rashid Khan,” he added.
The scene was captured by other journalists present at the spot. In the video, the Jammu and Kashmir policemen can be seen beating the journalists.
“If some Jammu and Kashmir police officers think that the journalists will be intimidated by such acts they are utterly wrong. That being said, I see today’s incident as a direct attack on journalistic freedoms and this is a cause of concern,” Javaid told News18.
Javaid said that his phone, which was snatched by the police personnel, hasn’t been returned. The situation in Kashmir has been tense since August 5 when the government scrapped Article 370.
There have already been a number of incidents reported in the past where journalists were thrashed by forces as they were reporting. A few journalists even suffered grave injuries after being hit by pellet guns.
With the ongoing internet clampdown in Kashmir valley, reporters are already finding it difficult to work.
“Journalists in Kashmir are already working in very difficult conditions since the past four months due to the restricted communication,” said senior journalist Majid Maqbool. “These attacks,” he added “reflect how the authorities want to further choke journalists in Kashmir.”
ThePrint in a statement condemned today's incident and demanded action against the police. Demanding an urgent inquiry into the matter, Shekhar Gupta, the Editor-in-Chief of ThePrint in a statement said that “the erring policemen” should be “punished” and his phone should be “returned immediately.”
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