'I asked them not to abuse us, they beat me up instead': Srinagar police thrash journalists during Muharram procession

The journalists were reporting on the Muharram processions at Jehangir Chowk, Srinagar, on Tuesday afternoon when police from Shergarhi Police Station started beating them up. Sajad Hameed, a photojournalist with the Free Press Journal, was one of the reporters at the receiving end of the violence.

Karishma JangidUpdated: Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 05:26 PM IST
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Policemen from the Shergarhi Police station beat up photojournalist Sajad Hameed and others at Jehnagir Chowk, Srinagar, on August 17, 2021. |

On Tuesday, several journalists in Jammu & Kashmir accused Srinagar police of beating them unreasonably.

The journalists were reporting on the Muharram processions at Jehangir Chowk, Srinagar, on Tuesday afternoon when police from, Shergarhi Police Station led by SHO Aftab Ahmad started beating them up.

Various videos and pictures shared by journalists show Srinagar police using force against the reporters.

Sajad Hameed, a photojournalist with the Free Press Journal, was one of the reporters at the receiving end of the violence.

Commenting on the incident, Hameed said, "The police were abusing Hindustan Times journalist Waseem Andrabi. I asked them to not abuse my fellow journalist but they started beating me up instead. They hit me on the leg and broke the lens of my camera. I am in a lot of pain and I have suffered a huge loss."

Andrabi told a local news agency – Kashmir News Observer (KNO) – that the policemen “from Shergarhi Police Station led by SHO Aftab Ahmad, beat them to the pulp for no reasons”.

“We were even told that (an) FIR will be registered against us,” Andrabi said.

Kashmir Press Photographers Association (KPPA) condemned the use of force by police.

"KPPA terms the action unjustified and uncalled for. It is highly unfortunate that the police was thrashing the photojournalists (and stopping them) from performing their professional duties," a statement from the photojournalist body said.

Taking note of the incident, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah wrote on Twitter, "He’s an independent photo-journalist. His camera is his livelihood. The administration owes it to Sajad to compensate him for the loss he has suffered while working."

The police is yet to comment on the issue.

(This is a developing story)

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