How a NIA charge sheet defines a journalist

Srinagar

National Investigating Agency on Friday said that the moral duty of a journalist is to cover a developmental activity of government department, the inauguration of a hospital, school and statement of any political party in power.

These are the same reasons which National Investigation Agency (NIA) has listed as evidence that Kamran Yusuf was not a “real journalist,” reports claimed.

Representational image

Kamran Yusuf was a free-lance photojournalist arrested on September 5 for his alleged involvement in “stone-pelting incidents.”

A report published in The Indian Express, reported by Abhishek Angad says that observations by the NIA are part of the charge sheet into the terror funding and stone pelting in the Valley filed on January 18 against 12 people including Kamran Yusuf.

The documents were reproduced on Thursday before Additional Sessions Judge Tarun Sherawat during Yusuf’s bail hearing. The next date of hearing is February 19.

In the charge sheet, the NIA listed the “moral duty of a journalist” and observed: “Had he been a real journalist/stringer by profession, he may have performed one of the moral duty of a journalist which is to cover the activities and happening (good or bad) in his jurisdiction. He had never covered any developmental activity of any Government Department/Agency, any inauguration of Hospital, School Building, Road, Bridge, statement of the political party in power or any other social/developmental activity by the state government or Govt of India, The Indian Express reported.

The charge sheet also mentions social work by the Army and Para-military forces in the Valley such as organising “blood-donation camps, free medical check-up, skill development program or Iftiar party” among others. “Kamran Yusuf had hardly taken any video of such activity and video or image of any such activity can rarely be seen in his laptop or mobile which clearly show his intention to only cover the activities which are anti-national and earn money against such footages,” said the charge sheet.

The report further says that according to the NIA, Yusuf was not a “professional” because he did not receive training from any institute. The NIA, after scrutinising the videos in his camera, observed that the video has been taken with a particular intention to cover “anti-national activities” and then provide the same to “local media” for publication.

During bail arguments, Yusuf’s counsel Warisha Farasat submitted to the court that despite NIA defining a “real journalist”, Yusuf had fulfilled all the criteria listed. “We have many pictures to show that Kamran falls under their definition, reported The Indian Express.

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