Kashmiri photojournalist Sanna Irshad Mattoo on Tuesday said she was stopped from flying to United States by immigration officials despite having a valid visa and ticket. She was travelling from the Delhi airport to New York to receive the 2022 Pulitzer Prize .
In May, Mattoo had won the Pulitzer Prize in feature photography for coverage of the coronavirus crisis in India along with Reuters photographers Adnan Abidi, Amit Dave and the late Danish Siddiqui.
This is not the first time she has been barred from flying.
On July 2, Mattoo had said that she was stopped from flying from Delhi to Paris. The photojournalist said she had a valid French visa but the immigration officials at Delhi airport refused to allow her to leave the country.
She was headed to Paris for a book launch and a photography exhibition as one of 10 winners of the Serendipity Arles Grant 2020.
This was not the first time a Kashmiri journalist has been stopped from leaving India without a reason.
On July 26, Aakash Hassan, a Kashmiri journalist who writes for The Guardian, had said that he was stopped at the Delhi airport from flying to Colombo in Sri Lanka.
In 2019, Gowhar Geelani was stopped at the Delhi airport from travelling to a journalists’ conference in Germany.
When Geelani had asked an immigration officer to show a written order seeking to stop him from flying, he was allegedly told that no explanation could be provided to him.