Police Thrashes Scribe in Kashmir

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CM Promises Action

Srinagar: In yet another brazen incident of ‘violence against journalists’ at the hands of forces, a journalist was beaten to pulp and detained by the state police when he was covering a protest by the paramedic students outside the Old Secretariat here on Wednesday.

Witnesses said Azhar Qadri, who works as a principal correspondent with The Kashmir Tribune, was ‘assaulted’ by the police when he was covering a protest by the paramedic students from various colleges in Kashmir. The scribe after being beaten to pulp was detained at the Shaheed Gunj police station in uptown Srinagar. One of the journalists who accompanying Azhar said: “We had gone to the DC office to cover a story and on our way back we noticed a group of girls protesting outside the Jahangir Hotel and we stopped to enquire.”

He said a top police officer was asking the girls to protest with ‘discipline as they were educated’.

“We started to take quotes from the girls and two bodyguards of the police officer came to us and asked us who we were,” he said, adding, “we told them we were journalist.” “When we were taking quotes, the police officer assaulted Azhar from behind he was joined by others,” he added.

After beating the scribe to pulp, the police detained him.

Witnesses said a huge gathering of girl students from various paramedic colleges were protesting against the recent exam results when the police cane charged them. “In the ensuing chaos at least three girls were injured and were rushed to hospital,” they said, adding, police also detained some of them.

CM Speaks:

Meanwhile Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah promised action into the accident when journalist protested against the high handedness of police officer at a press conference at SKICC, “I will look into the matter” he told reporters.

KJC Condemns Attack

Kashmir Journalists Corps (KJC) condemns the assault on one of its fraternity members by police while he was performing his professional duties. Daily Tribune’s principal correspondent Azhar Qadri was beaten by IPS officer Imtiyaz Ismail Parray when he was covering a protest of nursing students outside old secretariat Srinagar on Wednesday.

Qadri was beaten by Parray and his personal security officers. He was bundled into a vehicle and put behind the bars without any reason. The police officer continued to beat Qadri even after he identified himself as a journalist.

Kashmir Journalists Corps strongly condemns the incident and calls for an immediate probe into the incident and action against the police officer and his personal security officers.

This is not for the first time that journalists have become the victims of police atrocity while performing their professional duties. And even as the J-K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and top police brass, on several occasions, assured the journalists that they would be provided peaceful atmosphere to work, the police continue to hamper their professional work and intimidate them.

KJC has also urged the chief minister and director general of police to intervene so that the journalists, who are working under difficult conditions, can perform their duties without any fear.

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