Government forces assaulted photojournalist Yawar Kabli, who works with Kashmir Dispatch, and three others including a video-journalist Umar Mehraj working with the Associated Press while they were covering protests in the Old City.
Eyewitnesses said Showkat Shafi, who works as a freelancer with Al Jazeera English website, Yawar Kabli who also works with Getty images, Umar Mehraj and Shahid Tantray working with Dainik Bhaskar were thrashed to pulp by the joint team of CRPF and police, when they were covering stone pelting protests in Saraf Kadal of the Old City this afternoon.
Their professional cameras have also been broken by the troopers as they tried to save themselves from the batons, eyewitnesses said.
Three of the photographers received serious injuries due to the beating. They were rushed to the SKIMS hospital by locals and colleagues. Meanwhile, Shahid Tantray has been detained at the Nowhatta police station.
The doctors at the SK Institute of Medical Sciences have moved the photojournalists in Observation following severe vomiting and dizziness.
Eyewitnesses said the forces were furious with their coverage of the protests and went berserk when they caught hold of them.
“I dont know anything about the incident yet. I will have to check it first,” Mohsin Shahedee, PRO CRPF told Kashmir Dispatch.
However, a statement issued by the police, here, said: “Today after the Friday prayers some miscreants resorted to stone pelting at Saraf Kadal area of down town Srinagar.”
“Police exercised maximum restraint in spite of grave provocations and to quell the mob chased the miscreants and in the ensuing melee, some photo journalists who had intermingled with the crowd to cover this subversive activity, got trampled down by the fleeing miscreants,” it said.
This incident is second months after two Photojournalists including Showkat Shafi, who was beaten again today, and a Mexican photojournalist were thrashed at Nowhatta.