Jammu and Kashmir police on Tuesday beat up journalists in the heart of Srinagar at Jehangir Chowk and prevented them from covering the annual Muharram processions carried out by Shia Muslims, photojournalists said.
The victims accused the police officials of abusing and beating them. Videos show a police official leading the assault on the journalists and other policemen who were carrying sticks and assault rifles following him in the charge. Photojournalists say the police beat them up for no reason. The police have not issued any statement so far.
Videos of the incident have gone viral on social media.
“Merciless beating of journalists is highly condemnable. We express serious concern over such repeated acts of use of force on the media fraternity without any accountability. Surprisingly the upholders of the law are out to demolish the founding principles of law,” tweeted Peoples Conference of Sajad Gani Lone.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reacted to the incident by saying, “Very unfortunate to see J&K police personnel mercilessly thrashing journalists in Srinagar. These people were simply doing their jobs - reporting the news. They don’t make the news & they don’t engineer events to create the story. I hope @OfficeOfLGJandK will ensure no repeat,” Omar Abdullah tweeted.
Very unfortunate to see J&K police personnel mercilessly thrashing journalists in Srinagar. These people were simply doing their jobs - reporting the news. They don’t make the news & they don’t engineer events to create the story. I hope @OfficeOfLGJandK will ensure no repeat. https://t.co/d7ycL0rTPL— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) August 17, 2021
After a journalist said his camera lens was broken by the police, Omar Abdullah wrote, “He’s an independent photo-journalist. His camera is his livelihood. The administration owes it to Sajad to compensate him for the loss he has suffered while working.”
Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also reacted after journalists were thrashed in Srinagar. Taking to Twitter, she wrote, “media is spending hours debating the human tragedy & unfolding crisis in Afghanistan but will they speak up for their own community in Kashmir who were beaten to a pulp today by security forces for doing their job? The police have not responded to the allegations.