In Pictures: Police ‘assault’, arrest Kashmir journalist

A journalist was beaten to pulp and detained by the police when he was covering a protest by the paramedic students outside the Old Secretariat here in the summer capital Srinagar on Wednesday.

Witnesses said Azhar Qadri, who works as a 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.

Azhar after being beaten to pulp was detained at the Shaheed Gunj police station in uptown Srinagar.

One of the journalist who was 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 Azhar to pulp, the police detained him.

At least four girls who were a part of protests by the paramedic students outside Old Secretariat were injured when police used force to disperse them, witnesses said.

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.

Sakeena Akhtar, a paramedic student, who was protesting told Kashmir Dispatch that at least 90 per cent students who had appeared in the recent examinations were shown as failed. “Some have been shown as failed in theory and some in practicals,” she said.

The students have been demanding that xerox copies of their answer sheets be made public. A demand that the medical education department has refused.

Nahida, another student, said: “We already pay a huge fees in private colleges and now they want us to pay reevaluation fees which we are protesting.”

She said at least five girl students have been detained.

Azhar was in detention when the report was filed.

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