A Kashmiri journalist working with a local English daily has been detained by Indian security forces, his family said on Thursday. Irfan Amin Malik was taken into custody during a midnight raid at his house in Tral in Pulwama district. He is currently lodged at Tral police station.
“They [security forces] arrived at our home at 11.30 pm last night,” Malik’s father Mohammed Amin Malik told The Indian Express. “As soon as Irfan came out, they told him to come with them…he was taken directly to the police station in Tral.” Malik’s mother Haseena said the security forces included Central Reserve Police Force and Army personnel, reported The Print.
Malik’s family members met him at the police station on Thursday morning. “He too is not aware why he has been detained,” Haseena said. “I appeal to the police authorities to release my son, because he hasn’t done anything wrong.”
His family also met Awantipora Superintendent of Police Tahir Saleem on Thursday morning. “He asked us if he [Malik] has done some wrong reporting,” said Haseena. “We told him that Greater Kashmir newspaper [for which Malik works] is not publishing these days. SP Sahib then didn’t give a proper answer why my son has been detained and what are the charges against him.”
Saleem told The Indian Express that he has no information about the detention, but he was looking into the case.
Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal said they came to know about it when Malik’s family visited the Media Facilitation Centre in Srinagar. “We are looking into it and will come back as soon as possible,” he said.
Malik is the first media person to be detained in the Valley since the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5, according to The Wire. The 26-year-old has been a journalist for the past four years.
The Centre imposed restrictions on public gatherings in Jammu and Kashmir, on August 5 and cut off mobile networks hours before rescinding the state’s special status. Over 1,300 people, including three former chief ministers, have been either jailed or put under house arrest. The state has witnessed sporadic protests since then, especially in Kashmir. Restrictions have been partially lifted in Jammu but remain in place in the Valley.