Kamran Yousuf, a freelance photojournalist in Jammu and Kashmir state, was arrested on September 5 by India’s National Investigative Agency. He has not been formally charged, but media reports stated that he was accused of throwing stones. A court in New Delhi, where Yousuf is being held, extended his custody on September 16 by three days, according to news reports. He was later remanded to judicial custody on September 19 for one month. Authorities have since extended his jail term multiple times, and Yousuf remains imprisoned, according to a report on the Rising Kashmir news website.
Yousuf dropped out of college in 2014 and contributed to the daily Greater Kashmir newspaper on issues ranging from militancy to development, according to a Scroll.in report. “He was a headache for the police and politicians, reporting every small detail, and put pressure on them for not being in control,” the report quoted a friend as saying. Yousuf’s mother and uncle claimed they had “no idea” about the NIA arrest, according to the Scroll.in report. According to the Rising Kashmir report, a Kashmiri youth delegation has requested a government probe into Yousuf’s arrest and imprisonment.
Conditions in Jammu and Kashmir state have been restive since the July 2016 killing of popular militant leader Burhan Wani, who opposed Indian rule in the territory. Confrontations with security forces have since become common, including stone-throwing by demonstrators. In order to re-establish control, authorities have frequently put constraints on press freedom by detaining journalists and shuttering news outlets, as CPJ has documented.