Srinagar: In occupied Kashmir, Indian police beat up at least three photojournalists when they were performing their professional duty during anti-India demonstrations in Srinagar.
The photojournalists were beaten up as they covered a protest demonstration in downtown Srinagar. Several other photo and video journalists, including a woman, said that the police personnel chased them and verbally abused them.
Muzamil Mattoo, a freelance photographer, said that they reached Khanyar to cover a protest demonstration. We were in between personnel of police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) near Khanyar Chowk when a policeman pointed his pellet gun towards us and fired, he said.
He also said that the policemen tried to force him into a police vehicle and arrest him. “A policeman beat me up with a stick. I got bruises on my arm and leg. He also tried to arrest me. He repeatedly asked me why I took pictures of the protest,” he said.
Idrees Abbas, a photojournalist with the Urdu daily, Roshni, reached the spot after Mattoo. Idrees said that he saw the police beat Muzamil up. “I saw two, three policemen surrounding Muzamil and one of them was beating him up,” he said.
Idrees Abbas said that he was also assaulted and chased by the policemen when he tried to take pictures of the incident. “A policeman saw me clicking the photos,” he said. “He rushed towards me and hit me with a baton on my back. I crossed the street to save myself but they continued chasing and abusing us.”
Adil Abbas, a freelance photojournalist, said that he was assaulted also.
Masrat Zahra, also in the group of journalists, said that the policemen hurled dirty abuses at her.