The Kashmir Press Photographers Association issued a statement today condemning the alleged attack on photojournalists by security forces in Shirmal area, Shopian. An encounter broke out in the area between security forces and militants on Tuesday morning. At least two militants are suggested to have been killed, even as Greater Kashmir said “massive clashes” erupted between locals and security forces.
Kashmir Reader reported that at least four photojournalists covering the encounter were injured “when the government forces shot several pellet fires at them injuring many”. The journalists have been identified by the publication as Hindustan Times photojournalist Waseem Andrabi, Rising Kashmir photojournalist Nisar ul Haq, Kashmir Essence reporter Junaid Gulzar and Mir Burhan of ANN. Hindustan Times confirmed that their journalist Waseem Andrabi was one of the four “hit by pellets in Shopian after police and the CRPF fired on locals during a clash today”.
The Kashmir Press Photographers Association said: “…as per the normal routine, in order to carry out their professional duties, the photo journalists visited the encounter spot, but they were showered with metal ball pellets from a close range, thus attempting a direct aim at taking their lives.”
It added: “KPPA believes that the oft-repeated assualt on the photojournalists is uncalled for and employing such tactics by the government forces won’t deter us from carrying out our professional duties. The associaiton urges the Governor Satya Pal Malik and Director General of Police Dilbag Singh to perosnally [sic] look into the matter and order a magesterial enquiry [sic] into the incident followed by strict action against the erring cops.”