Kashmir Reader correspondent Asim Shah was beaten up by the police while carrying out his professional duties in Langate, on Wednesday. He recounts the events:
It was a sunny afternoon when I, along with four other journalists, reached Langate in North Kashmir to report on protests against the recent killings of civilians. I was travelling from Sopore, around 20 km away. When I was about to reach Langate Chowk, I saw civilians resisting government forces with stones, while the latter were firing teargas shells one after the other from the opposite side. I and my journalist friends took an alternative route to reach where the forces where. Press cards were slung from our necks and some had cameras in their hands. Any one from a distance could have sensed we were journalists. When we were about to reach the side where the forces were, police began bursting teargas shells with high intensity and chasing civilians. When the government forces spotted us, a group among them fired teargas shells at us. We ran for cover. After some minutes, we realised that they were still chasing us. Our group was split into two. I and a friend went into a house and latched its door from inside. The police reached the door and banged on it till it broke down. They came inside with batons in their hands. We pleaded with them, showing our press cards, yet they did not bother and started to beat us, while abusing us. Both of us were injured, my hands and legs were bleeding profusely. I and my friend managed to run away, climbed the wall of the house and walked through orchards and fields to save ourselves. We were then spotted by civilian protestors. They lifted us on their shoulders and rushed us to hospital. I received a stitch in my leg while my friend had to have three stitches in his hands.