SRINAGAR: Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has requested the home minister Rajnath Singh to intervene for the release of a “young budding journalist” Kamran Yousuf who was arrested by NIA on September 4 last year on charges of alleged stone pelting.
“Spoke to Home Minister @rajnathsingh ji to look into Kamran Yousuf’s case. I’ve requested him to intervene so that the life of a young budding journalist doesn’t get ruined,” Mufti tweeted on Sunday.
In its chargesheet against Kamran, the NIA had said he is not a ‘real journalist’ because he didn’t cover “any developmental activity of any government department/agency, any inauguration of hospital, school building, road, bridge, statement of political party in power or any other social/developmental activity by state government or Govt of India.”
International human rights and journalism bodies have also sought immediate release of the photojournalist. The Committee to Protect Journalists urged central government and NIA to “immediately drop charges” against Kamran and called for his release him. The Kashmir Editors Guild had also demanded his immediate release.
The 20-year-old photojournalist, a resident of Tahab village in Pulwama, has been booked under stringent sections by NIA. He shot to fame during 2016 public uprising after he went on the spots where protests were held and his photos and videos went viral.
Accused of taking money, Kamran’s single mother told a newspaper: “Kamran had three bank accounts — two of them were closed long back because of no transactions. The only operational bank account has Rs 1,900 in it.”
There have been more than 18 hearings on Kamran’s bail pleas in the past six months but no decision from the court has come yet. The last hearing was held on Friday.