#Day52: In Kashmir, Newsmen Continue to Face Music for Reporting Ground Situation

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

SHO Batmaloo barring newsmen from covering clashes. (Photo courtesy: Mubashir Khan/FB)
SHO Batmaloo barring newsmen from covering clashes. (Photo courtesy: Mubashir Khan/FB)

After government lifted curfew in Srinagar on Monday after 52 days of clampdown, reports of police, paramilitary pestering and passing of “wild allegations” to newsmen poured from many quarters.

A photojournalist working for Kashmir’s leading daily, Greater Kashmir, Mubashir Khan took to Facebook Monday afternoon to upload the images showing a police officer barring newsmen from covering clashes in Batamaloo.

“SHO police station Batamaloo stops media persons at Batamaloo area from performing their professional duties,” Khan wrote on his FB wall. “He used un-parliamentary language against media persons and forced them to return back.”

Earlier in the day, as parts of Srinagar erupted in clashes, the newsmen returned Press Enclave in a miffed mood. They said they faced “rough force” on streets who not only tried to stop them from covering the clashes, but also passed lewd remarks at them.

Massive pro-freedom protests erupted in Batamaloo on August 29, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)
Massive pro-freedom protests erupted in Batamaloo on August 29, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

“One CRPF trooper passed lewd remarks at us in Batamaloo when we reached the spot to cover the protests,” said Bilal Bahadur, photo chief of Kashmir Life. “When I tried to confront him, he masked his face and walked away. In between, a police officer accused media men of provoking youths. I tried to address his confusion by saying that youths don’t need media to tell them to protest, but the officer stopped short of insulting us.”

Monday’s incidents have come on close heels of harsh street manning of force who in many cases even refused to entertain the curfew passes of journalists. One scribe said that he was confronted by a cop on street and told: “Police have clear directions not to allow media movement.”

In the current civil uprising triggered by the killing of young militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8, newsmen have already faced scores of assaults. The attacks happened despite government promising hassle-free movement of media.

Despite repeatedly reaching to police, paramilitary higher ups for comments, all efforts failed.

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