KUPWARA: Scribes covering Lalpora protests had to face the burnt on Tuesday when agitated protestors, who were seeking the bodies of slain militants, attacked them and damaged their equipment.
At least seven photo and video journalists were injured while protestors also damaged two of their vehicles, a laptop and some cameras.
At least 5,000 protestors were present outside Lalpora police station seeking the bodies of 7 militants for last rites. The protesters were demanding that the bodies of militants be handed over to them without conducting postmortem. When police refused to do so, the protestors started attacking the police and in between we became the prey, said photo journalist Abid Nabi whose Santro vehicle (DL4CND-0725) was damaged during the incident.
Another photojournalist Tajamul Islam Lone said that he was attacked by protestors who damaged his laptop and D-80 camera.
A journalist working for an international agency who wished not to be named and whose private vehicle (JK01N-6090) was also damaged said that police resorted to intense aerial firing to disperse the protestors, however the adamant protestors barged into police station and created havoc there.
We all parked our vehicles inside police station Lalpora as there were apprehensions that situation may get out of control. I soon realized that I was in hell when protestors encircled a police vehicle and tried to set it on fire. The police driver jumped from the vehicle to save his life while the protestors completely damaged the vehicle. After that protestors set two bunkers on fire. The protesters did not even allow the reinforcement to move ahead and stormed into police station. There were at least 15 to 20 vehicles parked inside the police station that were damaged by protestors.
The journo further said that police exercised maximum restraint to avoid any casualty.
At least 7 journalists were injured during the clashes. They have been identified as Amin War, Abid Nabi , Mubashir Hussain, Firdous Khan, Tajamul Islam Lone, Malik Nisar and another photo journalist who wished not to be named. CNS
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