Kashmir: Two journalists sent to jail, five detained in a week

Image Courtesy: The Kashmiriyat

Two Kashmiri journalists from Anantnag, South Kashmir, have been sent to district jail on Thursday under section 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)— pre-emptive detention of a person based on suspicion. The detention comes as tensions escalate in the valley following the civilian killings.

The journalists — Salman Shah and Suhail Dar — were associated with The Kashmiriyat, the portal has confirmed.

According to the portal, Suhail Dar was detained on 08 October, after being called to the concerned Police Station. On 12 October, the editor of The Kashmiriyat, Salman Shah was also put under detention.

According to Kashmirwala, Photojournalist Mukhtar Zahoor, editor Salman Shah, freelance journalist Suhail Dar, freelance journalist Sajad Gul and senior journalist Majid Hyderi were detained or summoned in a week.

Senior Journalist Majid Hyderi on Thursday claimed to have been allegedly detained and harassed by Jammu and Kashmir police.

“I was summoned, questioned, detained and harassed by Jammu and Kashmir Police for no fault of mine on Oct 13, 2021, at CARGO, the detention centre in Srinagar used to interrogate militants,” Hyderi wrote on Twitter.

Mukhtar Zahoor, who works as a stringer with BBC, was picked up from his home at around midnight on 13 October and was kept in custody all night. Kashmiri journalists are outraged by the slew of intimidation from authorities.

“Let we be told why two Anantnag journalists Salman Shah and Suhail Dar have been detained by the police? If they haven’t done anything wrong it is a matter of concern. A journalist should not be arrested, detained or harassed if he or she has broken no law,” Senior journalist Yusuf Jameel tweeted on Thursday.

Qazi Shibli, editor of The Kashmiriyat on Twitter reminded that Suhail Dar was detained last year as well. He was booked for his Facebook posts.

“He was booked under section 505 of the IPC. He was bailed out only after 25 days on May 08, 2020,” Shibli wrote on Twitter.

Last month, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti urged the Press Council of India to send a fact-finding team to J&K to document the harrowing experiences of journalists in Jammu and Kashmir including raids, snooping and intimidation.

PCI has constituted a three members fact-finding committee which is currently in Jammu and Kashmir investigating the abuses against reporters.