18 people, including 5 journalists, assaulted in Shopian after forest eviction drive: Free Press Kashmir

Members of the Gujjar community reportedly tried to resist being evicted from their temporary homes.

ByNL Team
18 people, including 5 journalists, assaulted in Shopian after forest eviction drive: Free Press Kashmir
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At least 18 people including five journalists were allegedly assaulted in South Kashmir's Shopian on Monday during an eviction drive in a forest, Free Press Kashmir reported.

The journalists were identified as Aijaz Ahmad Dar (Zee News), Irshad Ahmad (News18), Shahid Tak (ETV Bharat), Nazir Wani (Punjab Kesari), and Firdous Ahmad (News Nation). They reportedly sustained minor injuries.

The incident took place in the upper reaches of Zampathri when members of the Gujjar community allegedly resisted being evicted. Members of the community told Free Press Journal that they weren't permanent residents and lived out of temporary sheds to graze their cattle. They also said they received no prior notice before the eviction began.

When they protested, they said, the officials began to beat them.

The officials' version of events is that a "routine eviction drive" had been taking place when members of the Gujjar community "assembled" and "attacked" them and the journalists who were present to report on the drive.

Officials claimed that apart from the journalists, at least 10 forest employees were injured.

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