The Kashmir Working Journalist Association has strongly condemned beating up of a journalist by the police. Kaiser Andrabi, who works with the Kashmir Walla alleged that he was beaten up and illegally detained inside the Fateh Kadal Police station, Downtown, Srinagar, due to his ‘funky attire and open shirt button’.
“In the second incident in the past two weeks, a young journalist, Kaiser Andrabi, was thrashed inside police station Fateh Kadal on May 31, when the scribe had gone there to collect his identity cards, which was withheld earlier that day during a routine checking of motorcycles at a police checkpoint,” the statement said.
“The officer and his subordinates at the police station, as per Andrabi, humiliated him for his attire. They slapped him which led to bleeding of lips and beat him with rifle butt as well. He was also forced to sign a blank document and threatened that a case would be registered against him.”
The KWJA spokesman further said that the approach of the police is condemnable and the action should be taken against those officials involved in this incident.
According to him, KWJA will approach the Press Council of India and international organisations that safeguard journalistic rights, to raise the issue of the repeated assaults on journalists in Kashmir.
According to Andrabi, he was slapped, kicked and hit multiple times with wood-baton and gun-butt inside police station Fateh Kadal in the presence of registrar, for wearing, what the policemen described as ‘funky clothes’.
“I was stopped at a naka during the daytime when I was going to attend my fellow reporter, Saide Zahoor Shah, who got injured while covering the clashes,” he said. “Since it was sort of an emergency, I requested them to not take my bike, but keep the ID card. They let me go, and asked to visit the police station in the evening to collect the card.”
Andrabi went back to the police station at 6:30 pm, he was verbally abused, insulted and later physically assaulted, while knowing that he belongs to press fraternity. “I was first rebuked then later beaten for wearing a buttonless shirt,” he said.