Srinagar March 05: Kashmir Press Club (KPC) has condemned the assault on two photojournalists by the police who were performing their professional duties in Srinagar’s Downtown on Friday.
As per the statement, two journalists identified as Shafat Farooq, cameraperson with BBC and Saqib Majeed, a freelance photographer were beaten after protests broke out in Nowhatta area after the culmination of congregational Friday prayers at Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid.
“As we were covering the protest, police chased us. A policeman came from nowhere and hit me in my back. I asked the cop why did he hit me. Senior police officials present on the spot apologized for what had happened,” Shafat told Kashmir Press Club management. He complained of severe back pain after the assault.
Shafat said that another photojournalist was also beaten by police.
“We were dispensing our professional duties. However, soon after a police party chased us and one of them caught me by my collar, slapped me several times and even dragged me on the road,” said Saqib after the assault to a few media outlets.
While taking note of the assault and condemning the police behavior, Kashmir Press Club urges upon the police authorities to sensitize its ranks about its conduct/response towards the press/media persons. Else, it becomes clear that the intimidation, harassment and assaults are meant to stop journalists from doing their duties.
The KPC hopes that the journalists are allowed to conduct their professional duties without fear and coercion.