Kashmir Editors’ Guild (KEG) has strongly condemned the use of pellets against a group of journalists who were covering the aftermath of an encounter in Shopian. At least four news photographers were hit by the pellets and hospitalised.
A battery of journalists was covering the protests near Shirmal on the Srinagar-Shopian highway when they were asked by the police to pass. When they were moving, the cops fired pellets and it hit four of them: Waseem Andrabi, Junaid Gulzar, Mir Burhan, and a reporter Nisar ul Haq. The injured were driven by their colleagues to the nearby hospital for the first aid, KEG said.
The journos were in Shopian to cover the aftermath of an overnight encounter in which three militants were killed.
“This is not for the first time that the law enforcing agencies have used force against the media persons when they were covering the events on the streets within and outside Srinagar. This has become a routine,” the KEG added.
“Every time the issue is being brought to the notice of the authorities, the media is being promised that they will investigate the issue. It has rarely happened that action was initiated against anyone for violating the basic conduct vis-a-vis media. Already one photo-journalist has lost an eye to pellets in Srinagar. While police is issuing statements on every single incident from detaining gamblers to seizing Fukki, it avoided even mentioning the incident in a routine daily statement,” KEG said.
KEG demands a quick and time-bound investigation into the incident and an action against the personnel found guilty. The attacks on media are detrimental to the very existence of a society in the twenty-first century.