Two Kashmiri photojournalists say brutally beaten up by police

Kamran Yousuf (left) and Faisal Bashir (right), two photojournalists were brutally beaten up by the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday.

Kamran Yousuf and Faisal Bashir, two photojournalists were brutally 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.

“Today, while I was taking pictures at Marwal Kakpora, I was attacked and brutally beaten up by policemen who were accompanying a deputy superintendent of police. There were at least ten policemen who pounced on me and hit me with riffle butts without any reason,” said Kamran Yousuf.

Yousuf who works for Newsclick said that he tried to plead with policemen without any success.

“If I hadn’t gathered my strength and escaped, I have no doubt that they would have killed me. It was a targeted attack on a group of photojournalists and all of us were doing only doing our job,” he said.

Yousuf suffered injuries in his arm and leg. He has been shifted to Srinagar and is being treated at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital. 

“I have serious injuries. My body feels completely broken. I am in severe pain. Several of my colleagues who were with me at the spot doing our job were also beaten up,” added Yousuf.

Yousuf who was falsely implicated in 2017 and jailed for six months in Tihar, was the first Kashmiri journalist, who was booked under draconian UAPA.

“Journalism is not a crime. Please let us do our job. Please don’t attack us, please don’t beat us up and break our bones,” Yousuf said in a tweet.

“I don’t understand why are policemen so violent and brutal towards journalists who are only doing their job, asked 26-year-old Yousuf.

The other photojournalist, Faisal Bashir said that policemen hit him with a stick on hi back. He also told journalists one of the blows also landed on his camera.

“I have swelling on my hip and can’t walk properly,” he added.