The Press Council of India issued notices to the National Investigation Agency, the Jammu and Kashmir police and the state home secretary over the arrest of freelance photojournalist Kamran Yousuf on September 5. In a letter dated September 12, the Press Council cited its authority as a quasi-judicial body set up under an act of Parliament, and asked the officials to file a reply to the notice within two weeks.
“Since the matter [of Yousuf’s arrest] prima-facie concerns the free functioning of the press, the honourable chairman of the Press Council of India [Justice Chandramouli Kumar Prasad] has viewed the incident with concern, and taken suo-motu cognisance of the matter,” the letter read.
On September 4, Yousuf was at a makeshift office of local journalists in Pulwama town when he received a phone call from the local police station. Yousuf was kept there overnight and taken to Srinagar the next day. He was arrested on September 5, allegedly for stone-pelting. “Yousuf was not only involved [in stone-pelting], but was systematically circulating videos and photos of militants to incite youth,” an unidentified NIA official had said.