• Friday, Dec 09, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

India raids homes of four Kashmir journos

  • Published at 06:36 am September 9th, 2021
Kashmiri journalists display laptops and placards during a protest demanding restoration of internet service, in Srinagar, November 12, 2019 Reuters

They were questioned in a case about a blog called “Kashmir Fight”, which reportedly run from Pakistan

The homes of four journalists in India-controlled Kashmir were raided by the police on Wednesday, AP reported. The action was taken against journalists Hilal Mir, Showkat Motta, Shah Abbass and Azhar Qadri.

A senior police official told Scroll.in that they were questioned in a case about a blog called “Kashmir Fight”, which is reportedly run from Pakistan.

The blog drew attention after the killing of journalist Shujaat Bukhari in 2018. In October 2020, the police had filed a first information report against the handler of the blog.

The four journalists were released after the questioning, but they will be summoned again on Thursday.

Mir is a former editor of the newspaper Greater Kashmir and also wrote frequently for the Turkish television network TRT.

Abbass wrote for Greater Kashmir’s Urdu sister-publication Kashmir Uzma as well as Spanish news agency EFE. Qadri was associated with The Kashmir Walla.

Matta was the editor of Kashmir Narrator, a magazine that has shut down.

Aasif Sultan, a journalist who also worked with the magazine, has been in jail since August 2018. The police have accused him of working for the militant group Hizbul Mujahideen.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police have not issued a statement on the raids yet.

The posts in “Kashmir Fight” had targeted and vilified Bukhari and other journalists, politicians and activists in the Valley who were engaged in Track II diplomacy, or discussions that take place outside the ambit of the official dialogue.

A few days ago, the blog had published another post, this time targeting the local Kashmiri press and prominent editors.

The four journalists were questioned on Wednesday at the Kothibagh police station in Srinagar. Their phones and laptops had been seized, according to AP.

Journalists in Jammu and Kashmir have reportedly faced more threats and harassment after the Centre scrapped the erstwhile state’s special status in 2019.

In June, the United Nations had expressed concern about the “alleged arbitrary detention and intimidation” of journalists in the region. 

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