Authorities assault, fire on journalists in Kashmir

Local news reports said a photojournalist was shot and five other journalists assaulted in the aftermath of a 22-hour battle between militants and local authorities in Srinagar, summer capital of the troubled north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir on January 7, 2010.

Amaan Farooq, a photographer for the daily newspaper Greater Kashmir, was treated in a local hospital for a leg injury which he said resulted from a gunshot fired by a senior police officer. A doctor said he recovered no bullet and believed the wound was caused by a stone, news reports said.


Local journalists said Deputy Superintendent Safdar Samoon deliberately fired on Farooq in the building adjacent to the hotel after telling a group of journalists to stop photographing the scene. Samoon also hit Greater Kashmir photojournalist Yawar Nazir, they said. Police denied the shooting charge but confirmed the officer’s weapon had been fired accidentally during the confrontation, according to local news reports.


Armed personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force also hit Rising Kashmir photojournalist Farooq Ahmad Shah on the head with a baton, Rising Kashmir reported on its Web site. Police also assaulted Tribune reporter Kumar Rakesh, a cameraman for the bilingual Web magazine Voice of India identified as Mubashir, and Sahara Samay reporter Sanam Tasduq, 0according to the report. 


A day-long gun fight broke out on January 6 when two heavily armed militants took refuge in Srinagar’s Hotel Punjab after attacking a police vehicle. The militants were killed the next day, according to news reports. Police Inspector General Farooq Ahmad ordered an inquiry into the incident, news reports said.