Two photojournalists were allegedly beaten up by the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday while they were covering an ongoing encounter between militants and security forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
One of the two photojournalists, who was severely beaten, was identified as Kamran Yousuf. He works for Newsclick, an online publication based in New Delhi. The other photojournalist was identified as Faisal Bashir, a freelancer.
“I only clicked one picture and had barely taken out my camera when they shouted at photojournalists to go back,” Yousuf told Scroll.in. “While other photojournalists ran away, I also began to move slowly. In the meantime, a group of five to eight policemen pounced on me from the back and started thrashing me. Some of them kicked me while others hit me with lathis. They broke those bamboo lathis on me.” According to him, the policemen continued to thrash him until he managed to run away from them. “If I didn’t escape from there, they would have killed me,” he added.
Yousuf suffered injuries in his arm and leg. He has been shifted to Srinagar and is being treated at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital. “My X-ray is fine but there’s a swelling in my left leg. Doctors advised me to get a full body scan. I am waiting to get that done,” Yousuf said.
The other photojournalist, Faisal Bashir, said the policemen were angry about them taking pictures during the gunfight. “They shouted at us and asked why we were clicking pictures,” he told Scroll.in. “While I ran away, they hit me with a stick on my back. One of the blows also landed on my camera. I have swelling on my hip and can’t walk properly.”
An unverified video clip on social media shows a group of policemen hitting Yousuf with lathis while he’s trying to move away from the spot of encounter.
Scroll.in reached out to Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar for a comment. The story will be updated once there is a response.
On Tuesday morning, an encounter between security forces and militants broke out in Marwal area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The gunfight is still on.