Police raid houses of 4 journalists in Kashmir

Police raid houses of 4 journalists in Kashmir

Seize mobile phones, laptops

SRINAGAR: Police on Wednesday raided residences of four journalists following which they were questioned at a police station for the entire day. Later in the evening, they were released, but asked to report back to the police station in the morning.

The raids began early in the morning at the four locations in Srinagar during which laptops, mobile phones, books and documents of the journalists were seized.

Police later asked them to report to Kothi Bagh Police station, where they were questioned for the full day.

The journalists were identified as Hilal Mir, senior journalist and former editor at Greater Kashmir, Showkat Motta, editor of monthly magazine Kashmir Narrator, Azhar Qadri freelance journalist, and Shah Abbas, who also contributes to various international media outlets.

“Police came early in the morning. They searched our rooms. They took books, documents, laptops and mobile phones. The mobile, laptop and notice of his spouse was taken too. The passports of him and his wife were seized too” said a family member of one of the journalists. “They later asked him to come to Kothi bagh, where he was questioned for the whole day.”

Kashmir Reader has learnt that police even attempted to seize the mobile phone of his father, but was later returned as it was not the smartphone. At another journalist’s residence, eight phones were seized which belonged to his family members, including sister-in-law.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Kothi Bagh Ghulam Muhammad told Kashmir Reader that he has nothing to do with case. “Speak to the Superintendent of Police, she might say about it,” he added.

Tanushri, the SP of the concerned area could not be reached on phone. Her Operator said that she was busy in the meeting. Later her phone was off when reached out again by this newspaper.

Police too have not issued any formal statement about the raids and questioning until this news was sent to the press.

Harassment and summons to journalists in Kashmir has intensified in the last two years. Many journalists were summoned and two were booked too.

Recently, the UN Special Rapporteur for protection of right to freedom of expression has taken “serious concerns over the reports of arbitrary detentions and intimidation of journalists in Kashmir.


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