The Kashmir Press Club issued a statement condemning the harassment of two video journalists by the police in Pulwama.
According to the statement, Qayoom Khan and Qisar Mir, who work for CNN-News18 and TV9 Bharatvarsh, respectively, submitted written testimony to the press club, saying they were stopped on Wednesday afternoon while covering a raid.
Mir's testimony said their cameras and phones were "snatched" and returned only five hours later after "erasing all data related [to] the story".
The statement also quoted Mir as saying he "thrashed by the Army personnel" on February 29 and also used as a "human shield".
The press club called this "tantamount to muzzling the press" and demanded that the police "sensitise its officers and allow journalists to work without any hurdle".
Here is the statement in full.
The Kashmir Press Club has taken a strong note of the harassment of the two video journalists at the hands of police in south Kashmir.
Two cameramen Qayoom Khan and Qisar Mir, working for CNN-News 18 and TV9 Bharatvarsh, were stopped by the police from conducting their professional work on March 4 in Pulwama. Not only this, their camera and two mobile phones were snatched and returned after almost 5 hours.
As per the written testimony submitted by Qisar Mir to the Kashmir Press Club, the duo was stopped at 15:30 hours on Wednesday by a police officer in front of SSP Pulwama when they were covering their professional duties. Mir said that their cameras and phones were snatched by a police officer when they were covering a raid by a probe agency at Hakripora Pulwama.
“We were covering a raid (by a probe agency) at Hakripora Pulwama where police stopped (us ) to cover (the) story. I was told later (at 8pm) to come (to) Kakapora Police station, (where we) were given phones and camera, erasing all data related (to) the story,” Mir said.
“Day by day media persons in south Kashmir (are being) harassed and abused while covering their professional duties”, he added. According to him, he was stopped at Babgund Pulwama and thrashed by the Army personnel on February 29 during a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO). He also alleged that he was “made human shield” during the CASO by soldiers.
These latest incidents indicate that the harassment of journalists and media workers continues unabated in the Kashmir region and is tantamount to muzzling the press.
The Kashmir Press Club wants to bring it on record that it has engaged with the Police authorities at the highest level to convey its concerns about the harassment of journalists by the police since August 5. The Club management once again demands the police to sensitize its officers and allow journalists to work without any hurdle.