#JournalismIsNotACrime: Armed forces assault Journalist Junaid Bazaz in Srinagar, kick him repeatedly

Representative Photo

Srinagar: Armed forces (CRPF) troopers physically assaulted journalist Junaid Nabi Bazaz in Srinagar on Saturday. Bazaz was heading towards Badshah Bridge after performing his professional duties when CRPF personnel intercepted him.

Bazaz told Free Press Kashmir that he was stopped at Budshah Bridge by the Central Police. Six personnel stopped him and started beating him, he says, as they kept verbally abusing him.

Bazaz said that not only did the CRPF troopers abuse him without any reason, the police on the site watched and told him ‘these things happen’.

“CRPF have gone crazy today. I was pounced at Badshah bridge for being a Kashmiri Muslim. Some feet away, Kashmiri cops were asking each other, why do they beat him. They did not bother to intervene,” Bazaz wrote on social media, where he shared pictures.

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“When CRPF exhausted their anger, and let me go, the cops past me said, ‘it is okay, these things happen. Go home.’ The marks of their boots are still visible!” he added.

Last week, armed forces (CRPF) troopers had physically assaulted a freelance journalist Muheet Ahmad in the Downtown area of Srinagar. Ahmad had told Kashmir Reader, that not only did the CRPF troopers refuse to lift the concertina wire to pave way for him but also abused him without any reason.

“After verbally abusing me, the CRPF men started beating me with sticks. Almost six troopers pounced upon me and beat me mercilessly,” Ahmad recalled.

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On May 25, Photojournalist Ahmer Khan who was outside Jamia Masjid, the grand mosque, covering protests, told Free Press Kashmir that pellets were directly fired at journalists and praying civilians. However, Khan who was hit by pellets and hurt his foot, said they escaped unhurt from the pellets as it didn’t penetrate their body. He was injured the same day and had to be taken to the hospital.

“It was complete mayhem there. I have never seen such scenes in the area before. Journalists and Nimazis (people who were praying) were targeted directly. There was a lot of blood inside the mosque too. The entire floor was covered,” Khan had said.

Recently, in Srinagar’s Karan Nagar area, CRPF personnel snatched the phone of freelance journalist Adnan Bhat and deleted pictures he had clicked of the barricades, set up to block the road, KashmirWalla had reported.

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