KPC condemns harassment of journalists in Pulwama

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SRINAGAR — The Kashmir Press Club (KPC) on Thursday took strong note of the harassment of the two video journalists at the hands of police in south Kashmir.

Two cameramen Qayoom Khan and Qaisar Mir, working for CNN-News18/GNS and TV9 Bharatvarsh respectively, 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 five hours,” a statement from KPC said.

As per the written testimony submitted by Qaisar 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 doing 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.

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“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 8 PM) 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 doing 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.

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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 KPC statement said.

The Club management demanded the police sensitize its officers and allow journalists to work without any hurdles.

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