Monday, May 4, 2009


Courtesy: Daily Rising Kashmir
During last year’s mass uprising which was met by relentless force by police and paramilitary CRPF, journalists were not spared either. In the thick of covering the protests, the reporters and photojournalists were beaten severely by the troopers. Besides, the angry protesters also vent their ire on them.• July 5: Raashid Wani, cameraman with Sahara Samay was severely beaten by CRPF near Soura. He spent three days in the hospital.• August 12: CNN IBN cameraman, Bashir Ahmad Lone’s car was fired at near Lasjan. He was also beaten in the incident.• August 13: The Aaj Tak crew was attacked by angry crowd inside SMHS hospital. NDTV’s Amin Bhat was injured when people attacked his vehicle at SKIMS. Ishfaq-ul-Hassan was beaten by people near Karan Nagar. He had earlier been stopped by police and was asked to give lift to one of their men. When people saw him carrying a policeman with him, they stopped him and started beating him.• August 19: Greater Kashmir photographer Amman Farooq was beaten up and his arm broken by CRPF at Bypass near Qamarwari.• August 22: Muzamil Rashid of CNN IBN was shooting at Habba Kadal when CRPF opened fire on protesters and then tried to snatch his camera.
• August 24: Bilal Bhat along with his team members- Rashid Mir, Muzaffar- was stopped by CRPF at Rambagh and beaten even though they had curfew passes. S Fayaz of UNI was thrashed by CRPF men near SMHS hospital. Jehangir Aziz of ETV and Khalid Hussain of IBN 7 were beaten near Rambagh. Manoj Kaul of ETV was beaten near Zero Bridge. Amin War, Firdous Ahmad and Amin Bhat were stopped near Bakshi Stadium by CRPF men and beaten. The local newspapers were not allowed to distribute their copies. Farooq Ahmad and Rahil of Rising Kashmir were beaten at Batamaloo while he was carrying newspapers for distribution. Greater Kashmir staff came under assault when Zahoor Ahmad, Mohd Iqbal, Ghulam Muhammad were and beaten by CRPF men near Rambagh while they were carrying copies for distribution. • August 25: Mir Ehsan of Indian Express came under assault when CRPF men smashed the front and back lights of his car in Baramulla. Asif Qureshi of Star News was stopped at Hyderpora and beaten up. His car was also smashed while he was coming back from airport.• August 28: Bureau Chief of The Hindu, Shujaat Bukhari’s home was raided by troopers.• August 29: Rising Kashmir’s Hakeem Irfan was beaten near Rainawari. “You were beaten only because you are a journalist,” Irfan was told by the troopers. Ishfaq Tantray of Daily Etalaat was stopped near Radio Kashmir Srinagar and beaten up. “You people are responsible for the problems,” he was told by the troopers.• September 8: Police confiscated all the newspaper supply meant for north Kashmir near Narbal. The cops also destroyed the camera of Etalaat’s Sajad Raja and also threatened him. Around eight photojournalists were thrashed by police and CRPF men in old city while covering a protest against the killing of a youth.


  1. Lone truth teller of Kangan
    Sofi Imtiyaz
    Ganderbal: Holding the journalistic objectivity dear, he refused to follow the diktats of troopers who wanted him to file a false news report about a fake encounter and had to pay the price with his life.
    Ghulam Muhammad Lone of Kangan who owned a news agency and also worked as a freelance journalist was killed on August 29, 1994. He maintained his integrity at a time when threats and killings were commonplace.
    Narrating the incident, Lone’s nephew Abdul Rashid Lone told Rising Kashmir: “On the intervening night of August 29-30, 1994, some personnel from 197 regiment of Punjab Army entered Ghulam Muhammad’s house at around 11:20 pm and opened indiscriminate fire killing him and his 8-year-old son Shakeel Ahmad Lone on the spot of which I am the eyewitness.”
    According to Rashid army was not happy with Ghulam Muhammad’s work “as he always reported truth” while being associated with a number of local newspapers besides running his own news agency.
    A month before the duo were martyred, Rashid says, an army contingent headed by a major, infamous by the name Badshah Khan, went to Khanan area of Kangan where they had exchange of fire with militants who managed to escape from the area. The army men then picked up two civilians killed them in a fake encounter and put two guns on the corpses. Later, army called Ghulam Muhammad to take photographs of the duo which he refused “as he was aware of the fact.”
    “The army then threatened him of dire consequences as he did not follow their order,” Rashid says.
    “Later on August 14 1994, army launched a crackdown in the area and made their way to the house of Ghulam Muhammad again threatening him to file false report about the incident or leave the job. But he didn’t surrender before them which made angered them. They barged into his house on the intervening night of August 29-30 and opened fire on him and his minor son killing both of them on spot,” he adds.
    Next day all the local newspapers printed their front page black to protest against the killing.
    Ghulam Muhammad is survived by his wife and three children Fatima Akhtar (26), Manzoor-ul-Islam (18) and Mudasir Ahmad (15).
    Rashid, who is feeding the family by running the agency started by hi slain brother, alleges the victim family is yet to be granted SRO.

  2. Declare my papa dead!’

    Showkat Nanda
    Sopore, May 01: Ruqaiya doesn’t remember her father. She was just two years old when her father Muhammad Sadeeq Sholuri was picked up by BSF and allegedly disappeared in the custody. Eighteen years have passed and Ruqaiya, now a university student, wants her father to be declared dead.
    “It has been a long wait. We want that he be declared dead now,” says Ruqaiya in a flat and expressionless tone.
    Sadeeq, a calligrapher from Sopore, who was then working for monthly magazine “Takbeer” was picked up by BSF’s 5th BN from his rented room in Batamaloo, Srinagar on March 11, 1991.

    Sitting by the side of her daughter in a small room of their single storey house Sadeeq’s wife Aisha Begum reluctantly narrates how her husband was subjected to custodial disappearance.
    “He was working for various newspapers as a calligrapher including Takbeer and was putting up in a room at Batamaloo rented by Auqaf. On March 11, 1991 in the holy month of Ramadan, a heavy exchange of fire between militants and BSF took place at Batamaloo and during the subsequent crack down, my husband was arrested along with few others. Since then we know nothing about him,” says Aisha.
    Aisha has been running from pillar to post to know the whereabouts of her husband. A few days after Sadeeq’s arrest, she approached the then Divisional Commissioner, Director General of police and Deputy Inspector General of police CID and was told that her husband would be released after proper interrogation.
    On May 14 the same year she approached Investigation Bureau BSF but was told that they have handed him over to SSP Control Room Srinagar along with 19 other detainees to be released, but that never happened.
    “I was shown a list of 19 people who had been arrested and my husband’s name was there at Serial No 9.That piece of paper gave me a little hope, but everything fell apart when some released persons told me that my husband had been killed during interrogation and some other person was released in his name so that they are not questioned,” says Aisha amid sobs, adding that she is still in dilemma whether her husband is really dead or not.
    “I don’t know what happened to him but at least they make it clear that he is no more. He was punished for the sin he never committed,” she adds.
    In 1997, the High Court after a judicial probe established the custodial disappearance of Sadeeq and ordered Sopore Police to register a case but “nothing happened.”
    Sholuri, as his family and friends remember him, was a virtuous and soft spoken person.
    “He was a great calligrapher and a nice human being. Apart from working with various newspapers he had written the Arabic text of Bismillah Irrahman-i-Raheem (In the name of God, the most Beneficent and Merciful) in two hundred different and interesting ways. He had also compiled various books and pamphlets in his own handwriting,” his friends recall.

  3. Sheikh’s family wants Kistwari behind bars

    Wasim Khalid
    Pampore, May 2: Thirteen years have passed since Ghulam Rasool Sheikh’s death, attributed to renegades, and the culprits are still at large.
    Azad was an editor of two weekly newspapers, Rehnum-e-Kashmir and Saffron Times.
    On March 20, 1996, Azad as Sheikh was popularly known as was kidnapped by government sponsored gunmen. After 20 days on April 10, his body was recovered by boatmen near Frastbal Pampore.
    Azad’s son Tanvir Ahmad recalls, “A sack filled with stones was tied to his body. The bullets had hit him on chest and head and the body had decayed to an extent.”

    Narrating the events leading to the incident, he says, “My father was killed by renegades under instruction from pro-government militia leader Papa Kishtwari. Actually my father was advocating the cause of people in Pampore. Renegades led by Papa Kishtwari had unleashed terror in the area. My father took up the matter with army and administration to alleviate the sufferings of people.”
    “In this regard on March 20 he left home to hold a meeting with army and renegades at Pampore grid station. From there he left for his newspaper office in Srinagar. On his arrival, the bus he was traveling in was stopped and he was picked up by the renegades,” Tanvir adds.
    Initially, the family did not know about the whereabouts of Sheikh.
    “The terror of renegades was such that no body dared to tell us that my father was picked by government backed gunmen. On the same night (March 20), an unidentified person called us and informed us about his abduction.”
    The family registered an FIR at the local police station.
    “We knew this was a futile exercise since police, army and administration were backing the pro-government gunmen,” Sheikh’s wife, Misra Bano says.
    “I went to Papa Kishtwari to plead him for my husband’s release, but he was not moved,” she says.
    Kishtwari and his men brutally suppressed any dissension.
    “He has killed estimated 100 people who raised voice against him,” Bano says, adding, “He was misinformed that a local tailor who was traveling with my husband has told us about his kidnapping. He killed him too.”
    The terror of renegades was such that even media people did not visit Pampore to condole with the family.
    “Neither they helped us in any way,” Bano says.
    Sheikh is survived by two sons, daughter and his wife.
    The family is still resolute to fight for justice and seek to avenge Azad’s blood.
    “We want killers of my fathers to be executed”. “I would lonely fight,” asserts Tanvir.
    The family members demanded that on World Press Freedom Day, all journalists should join them to help book the accused renegades and their leader Papa Kishtwari for the murder of Azad.