#Day34: Now, Rogue Youths Assault Kashmir Journalists; Geelani Calls For ‘Close Vigil’

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Once again Kashmiri journalists were targeted on Thursday when they were returning to their office after performing professional duties.

It is one of the several incidents in the renewed phase of mass civil uprising that Kashmiri journalists were manhandled.

One reporter based in Kupwara is recuperating in SMHS Hospital Srinagar after he was targeted and shot at with pellets. Mir Javid, a reporter with a local news agency, was hit by pellets in one of his eyes outside his home in Kupwara some days ago.

A photo-journalist, who works for Kashmir Reader and Daily Roshni, Muneeb-ul-Islam, was thrashed by para-military CRPF men and then used as shield against protesting youths who were pelting stones on forces.

And on Thursday, after finishing their job in Ganderbal, where they had gone for a story, Saqib Mugloo and Nazir Gillo were stopped when clashes were going on in Ahmad Nagar area of Srinagar. Ahmad Nagar area borders Srinagar and Ganderbal, the later was carved out of former district.

Saqib was thrashed, hit on his head, by a few youths – rogue – when he survived miraculously.

Nazir Gillo, a young reporter, details the happening on his Facebook page which is being reproduced here, verbatim.

Who is fighting with whom…?

We (Saqib and Nazir) were coming back to Srinagar after having a visit to a village in Ganderbal where government forces had unleashed terror on the locals, including women and children from the few days.

As soon as we reached Ahmad Nagar (around 4 PM), two women, apparently scared, came out of their houses after forces that were hurling stones at few youths who had blocked their way, and started crying.

I thought forces that stayed there for few minutes had done something to them.

Mir Javid, the Kupwara Journalist
Mir Javid, the Kupwara Journalist

I along with my colleague (Saqib) tried enquire about what has happened with them but, within minutes few hoodlums with wooden sticks in their hands approached towards my friend and started thrashing him severely. I wasn’t, as I was at distance.

I moved to save my friend but I too received a slap but one of them told the mob that I am not with him, which saved me from the wrath of the these hoodlums.

After learning about the incident, Kashmir Life contacted Bureau chief of Kashmir Reader, Moazum Mohammad. “It was a murderous assault,” he said, “God has saved Saqib.”

The incident, Moazum added, has shocked his colleagues. “The bike which Saqib was riding is beyond repair but Saqib has miraculously survived the attack.”

Speaking to Kashmir Life, Saqib said that he was rushed to SKIMS Soura by Nazir, his colleague. His voice could barely be heard. Another reporter, Umar Mushtaq, who was returning from Qazigund, was attacked by goons in Kulgam. He returned Srinagar with his arm was broken.

Muneeb ul Islam, photo-journalist based in South Kashmir
Muneeb ul Islam, photo-journalist based in South Kashmir

Condemning the gruesome incidents, Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani appealed to youth to keep “a close vigil in and around and discourage these obnoxious elements”.

“Local media is vital for our movement,” Geelani said in a Hurriyat Conference (g) statement issued late Thursday evening detailing the attacks on media, “and they, despite hardships, try to propagate our emotions, pain and agony to the outside world, sometimes at the risk of their lives.”

The ailing Hurriyat chairperson further said, “whosoever, misbehaves or manhandles with the media persons are working for those who are hell bent upon damaging and maligning this movement for their personnel petty interests.”

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