Journalist bodies in Kashmir have strongly condemned the harassment of scribes by the army and police in south Kashmir after a video journalist was allegedly used as a "human shield" by the army during a raid.
The police and security agencies were previously accused of taking away phones and cameras of journalists.
According to Kashmir Press Club, two cameramen Qayoom Khan and Qisar Mir, working for CNN-News 18 and TV9 Bharatvarsh, 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 away and returned after almost 5 hours, the Kashmir Press Club (KPC) said.
As per the written testimony submitted by Mir to the KPC, the duo was stopped at 15:30 hours on Wednesday by a police officer in front of SSP Pulwama when they were on 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.
“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 8pm) 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 covering their professional duties”, he added.
He said 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 into a "human shield” during the CASO by soldiers.
The Kashmir Press Club said it wanted 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 Club management once again demands the police to sensitize its officers and allow journalists to work without any hurdle," it said.
Earlier as well, the Kashmir Press Club had said that physical attacks, threats and summons to journalists are being employed by security agencies to intimidate journalists.
"In fact, the summons and harassment to journalists to Police’s counter-insurgency centre (Cargo) in Srinagar has become a routine exercise," the Club had said, adding that, "The harassment and questioning of journalists in Kashmir on flimsy grounds by the J&K Police for their work is, in fact, a damning verdict on the appalling condition in which media is operating."
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