By Jyoti Kalash
Kashmir Press Club issued a statement asking for an enabling atmosphere for the free and fair functioning of the media in Kashmir.
Three journalists were allegedly detained by the police for about 90 minutes and thrashed in the Srigufwara village of Anantnag district in southern Kashmir, where they had gone to cover the fifth phase of the District Development Council (DDC) polls. Fayaz Lolu (ETV Bharat), Mudasir Qadri (News 18) and Junaid Rafiq (TV 9) were detained around 8:30 am today and Junaid is currently in a hospital owing to his injury, according to a statement issued by the Kashmir Press Club (KPC) after they received a distress call from Fayaz.
#Kashmir: Three journalists have been thrashed by J&K Police in Anantnag while they were discharging professional duties.
Kashmir Press Club condemns the attack. Here is the statement. pic.twitter.com/46HaiqwH46
— Aakash Hassan (@AakashHassan) December 10, 2020
Fayaz alleged that Sandeep Chaudhary, SSP of Anantnag arrived on the spot and started beating them ruthlessly. “He [SSP ] told them [police] to book us under the charges of instigating people for stone-pelting,” Fayaz told The Kashmir Walla. Fayaz added, “We couldn’t say anything. We were helpless.”
Their news gathering equipments were seized by the police and they were taken to the Srigufwara police station and kept there for hours until Junaid’s health deteriorated, said Fayaz. They were taken to hospital, accompanied by around five policemen.
Three journalists including a stringer with a regional news channel have been ruthlessly beaten by police while covering DDC polling in south #Kashmir. One of them has been hospitalised & their equipment..cameras were seized. Normal day for journalists in #Kashmir.No news so far!
— Rahiba R. Parveen (@RahibaParveen) December 10, 2020
The journalists were reporting the fifth phase of DDC elections which is currently underway across J&K before they were detained. Fayaz told The Kashmir Walla