Three photo and video journalists were allegedly beaten up and camera damaged by Government Forces, when they were covering an encounter which broke out in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday morning.One of the eye-witness journalists, wishing anonymity, who was near the encounter site when journalists were beaten by Government Forces in Marval area of Kakapora in Pulwama told Kashmir News Trust that he had reached the spot around 8 AM and while he was doing his job, some Forces personnel came and started beating up the journalists who were present on the spot.He identified the journalists as Kamran Yousuf (NewsClick), Reshi Irshad (Current News of India) and Faisal Bashir (Freelancer). While talking to KNT, Reshi Irshad said, “My camera was also damaged as the Forces personnel started beating us without any reason and didn’t listen to us as we were just doing our job.” Interestingly, Kamran Yousuf was detained in 2017 by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and was subsequently released after seven months. “This is not the first time that journalists have been beaten up for performing their duties. This has to stop now,” he said. It is pertinent to mention that a gunfight broke out between government forces and militants in Marval area in Kakapora Pulwama on Tuesday morning and the journalists had reached the gun battle spot to do their professional duties.
Meanwhile, Kashmir Editors’ Guild (KEG) and Jammu Kashmir Press Association condemned the use of force against the scribes who were covering the gun battle at Marwal Pampore.Kamran one of the injured photo Journalist told reporters that he had gone to cover the encounter and well before he could start work, paramilitary men asked him to go away. As he was moving away from the spot, the security detail of a DySP rank police officer pounced upon him without any reason and beat him ruthlessly. He somehow fled and reached the hospital with the help of his colleagues where the doctors treated him. He will have to stay bed-ridden for many days owing to his leg injury.“KEG is condemning the use of force against the media persons. The editors’ body asked the authorities to permit media in delivering their professional duties. KEG is demanding the police leadership in Kashmir to sensitize the field staff about the operations of the media and investigate the Marwal assault,” the statement issued to KNT reads. Worth mentioning here the Marwal attack is not the first incident of its kind. In fact, it has emerged as a routine for the police and security forces to assault the journalists while covering the happenings on the ground.The Guild wants the LG Jammu and Kashmir to personally look into the assault. The Executive Members of Jammu Kashmir Press Association (JKPA) in an emergency meeting presided over by GH Kaloo have condemned assault on Kamran at Kakapora, where he had gone to cover the event, but was allegedly beaten by a Police officer to the pulp.It is worth mentioning that the President JKPA had brought into the notice of the LG Manoj Sinha during Press Meet on 4th instant that our correspondents/ Photojournalists are often maltreated by security forces whenever they cover any event. His apprehension has proved correct as the said photojournalist has been thrashed while he was discharging his professional duties.“The JKPA demands an impartial probe into the incident and stern punishment awarded to the accused.” (KNT)