Reporters Without Borders on Tuesday condemned the harassment and mistreatment of Greater Kashmir photographer Aman Farooq, who was arrested twice in two days and later released.
Taking cognizance of the harassment of the lensman, RSF in a statement from Paris said, ‘Farooq who works for the Srinagar-based Greater Kashmir daily, was first arrested by members of the anti-riot CRPF while covering a demonstration on December 18. They tried to get him to delete the photos he had taken of them using slingshots to disperse protesters, but he refused.”
“They eventually released him after several hours but warned him of dire consequences if the photos were published. They nonetheless appeared in the next day’s issue of the newspaper.”
“The next day, 19 December, Farooq was hit by an ambulance as he was returning to the newspaper on his motorcycle. As he was writhing with pain on the road, he said CRPF men came and offered him help, but when they saw the works “Press” and “Greater Kashmir” written on the motorcycle, they gave him a beating and left.”
“As he was returning home soon afterwards, police in a truck pulled up and told him to get in. When he refused, they slapped him and took him to the Safakadal police station in Srinagar, where a police officer told him: You should thank your stars that CRPF left you alive, as they have been hounding you for the past several days.”
“When a group of fellow-journalists went to the police station, they had to wait several hours before seeing Farooq being brought back from a hospital in chains and handcuffs, but they were not allowed to speak to him. Farooq was finally released at about midnight.”
“Journalists are increasingly the targets of intimidation and violence while reporting in the field in Kashmir, Reporters Without Borders said, “The authorities must one day start punishing those responsible.”