New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday extended the police custody of photojournalist Kamran Yousuf and farmer Javed Ahmad, arrested by the NIA on charges of stone-pelting, for four days.
Kamran and Javed were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on September 5, following which a court in Patiala House sent them to NIA custody for 10 days.
“The Court allowed the NIA to conduct custodial interrogation of freelance photo-journalist and another man for four more days in the alleged case of stone-pelting in Kashmir Valley,” sources said.
Javed Ahmed Bhat lives in Kulgam while Kamran Yusuf is a resident of Pulwama. Kamram contributed photos and videos to several media organisations, including the daily newspaper Greater Kashmir.
Their police custody was extended up to the 19th of this month. “During the proceedings, the central probe agency sought their custody for seven more days, saying they were required to be further quizzed and confronted with the other accused in the case,” sources added.
During the in-chamber proceedings, the NIA also said that the two had to be taken to various places in relation to the ongoing investigation, the sources said.
The arrest of Kamran has come under severe criticism for its ‘ambiguity’. Taking suo motu cognizance of the case, the Press Council of India has issued notices to the NIA and the J&K government over the arrest of Kamran, under Regulation 13 of the Press Council (procedure for inquiry) Regulation, 1979.
In Srinagar, the Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) has expressed concern over Yousuf’s arrest and demanded his “immediate release”.
The Kashmir Young Journalists Association has held protests against the arrest of Kamran and asked the J&K government to take up the matter with the ministry of home affairs.
Repeated calls and texts to NIA spokesperson on the issue went unanswered.