AP photographers Yasin, Mukhtar, Anand win Pulitzer for Kashmir coverage

Mukhtar Khan (left top), Channi Anand (left bottom) and Dar Yasin (right)

The Associated Press won a Pulitzer in feature photography for photographs made during India’s clampdown on Kashmir, where a sweeping curfew and shutdowns of communication and internet service added to the challenges of telling showing the world what was happening in the valley.

AP Photographers Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan and Channi Anand snaked around roadblocks, sometimes took cover in strangers’ homes and hid cameras in vegetable bags to capture images of protests, police and paramilitary action and daily life, according to AP news agency.

During the clampdown, the photographers headed to airport to persuade travelers to carry the photo files out with them and get them to AP’s office in India’s capital city New Delhi.

“It was always cat-and-mouse. These things made us more determined than ever to never be silenced,” Yasin told AP.

A masked Kashmiri protester jumps on the bonnet of an armored vehicle of Indian police as he throws stones at it during a protest in Srinagar, Kashmir, May 31, 2019. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
Muslims offer Friday prayers on a street outside a local mosque during curfew like restrictions in Srinagar, India, Aug. 16, 2019. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)
Six-year-old Muneefa Nazir, a Kashmiri girl whose right eye was hit by a marble ball shot allegedly by Indian Paramilitary soldiers on Aug. 12, stands outside her home in Srinagar, Sept. 17, 2019. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (Mukhtar Khan/Associated Press)

“Thank you Colleagues, friends, brothers. I would just like to say thank you for standing by us always. It’s an honour and a privilege beyond any we could have ever imagined. It’s overwhelming to receive this honor,” Dar Yasin took to twitter to express his thanks.

Dar Yasin, who was born in 1973 in Kashmir, has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and technology. Dar has extensively covered the Kashmiri conflict, as well as many global events such as the Afghan conflict, the South Asia earthquake and the historic opening of a bus route between Pakistan and India in Kashmir.

Dar has won dozens of international and national photo awards, in contests such as NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism, POYi and Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar. He received one of India’s Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards twice for the stories from Kashmir. Additionally, he’s been recognized by the National Headliner Awards, and by the Society of Professional Journalism with the Sigma Delta Chi Award. Dar also was part of The Associated Press team that won the Hal Boyle Award for the Rohingya exodus from the Overseas Press Club and a Robert F. Kennedy Award in the Print — International category.

Mukhtar Khan is based in Srinigar, Kashmir’s largest city, while Channi Anand is based in the neighboring Jammu district.

“I was shocked and could not believe it,” Anand told AP, calling the prize-winning photos a continuation of the work he’s been doing for 20 years with the AP.

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