Posts Tagged ‘Jammu and Kashmir’

Rakib Altaf, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, April 28, 2013

Toxic chemicals sprayed on fruit trees in Kashmir orchards is causing fatal brain cancer in the valley.

A study found that 90 percent of patients who die from malignant brain tumor in the valley is linked to orchards where pesticides, insecticides and fungicides are used. It says that the incidence is alarming.

Jammu and Kashmir has around 347223 hectares of land area under orchards and most of it is situated in the valley where apples, apricots, walnut and almonds are grown in huge quantities.

 

Every year until harvest season orchardists spray tens of thousands of metric tonnes of chemicals like Chlorpyriphos, Mancozeb, Captan, Dimethoate and Phosalone to prevent fruits from disease. Most of the chemicals are established carcinogenics.

The study titled ‘Pesticides and brain cancer linked in orchard farmers of Kashmir’ revealed that 389 out of 432 patients who had died of brain cancer from 2005-2008 were orchard-farm workers, residents living near orchards or simply children playing there.
The youngest of them was a female infant.

“About 31.9% (124 out of 389 who died) of these were younger than 40 years, beginning exposure at an early age,” says the study published by Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology.

“They include 23 pregnant women and 11 lactating mothers.”

The study was published in 2011, but Dr Abdul Rasheed Bhat of the neurosurgery department at SKIMS, who led the study team, told Hindustan Times that the number of brain cancer patients admitted in the hospital is rising.

“Most of the patients I operated upon had a history with orchards and pesticides. During the study we also found cases where various members of the same family were diagnosed with brain cancer,” he says.

The study, quoting data from agriculturists, says that the use of synthetic pesticides and other chemicals in Kashmir has increased drastically in the past three decades. It blames orchard farmers who often “abuse” and spray trees with more than the recommended doses.

The fatal chemicals are “directly absorbed through skin, inhalation and ingestion.”

Dr Rasheed believes the toxins also affect those who are not orchard owners, but live in the vicinity.

“The pesticides sometimes go into wells in the orchards and somebody drinks that water. Or sheep may eat grass sprayed with these chemicals. Even high winds can take the carcinogenic dust and affect those who inhale it,” he says.

 

DNA Special: Agent’s apple growers don’t get fruit of labour

Published: Sunday, Mar 31, 2013,
By Sandeep Pai | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

You may be cursing when you pay a high price for Kashmiri apples, wondering what share of the moneyorchard owners would receive. But in reality, the apple growers wouldn’t be even knowing the price at which the fruit is sold in the mainland, leave alone reaping profits.

Then, where does the money go? Into the pockets of commission agents, who, sitting in Delhi or any of the major cities, exploit and cheat the apple growers in Kashmir of crores of rupees every year. The apple growers live only in debt and distress, thanks to these agents.

The draft report of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on production and marketing of apple in Kashmir — a copy of it is exclusively available with DNA — blows the lid off this scam which is affecting the Rs 4,000 crore apple industry that kept the Valley alive even during the peak of militancy. The report will be submitted to the J&K government soon.

Exposing the role of commercial banks (mainly J&K Bank) in the scam, the report says they give advance to commission agents (CAs) instead of farmers. The CAs then lend the same money to apple growers at usurious rates. “In this way banks are (indirectly) contributing to survival of the old practice of ruthless, continued over-dependence of small growers of informal funding by agents,” says the report.

During 2011-12, apple growers in J&K got an advance of Rs1,200 crore (This excludes loans availed of under the ‘Apple Project’ of the J&K Bank) of which only Rs 200 crore was from banks. The amount funded by agents to the apple growers that year was Rs 1,024 crore, of which Rs 645 crore (63%) came from Delhi-based agents and Rs 207 crore (20%) from Kashmir-based CAs.

READ MORE HERE-http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_dna-special-agent-s-apple-growers-don-t-get-fruit-of-labour_1817367

 

15th feb guardian

First, Kashmiri Afzal Guru was hanged and now the region is under curfew in India‘s heartless display of retributive justice

Curfew Imposed Following Execution of Mohammad Afzal Guru
Indian policemen enforce a curfew in Srinagar, Kashmir, after Afzal Guru was executed in India for his involvement in the attack on India’s parliament in 2001, when nine people were killed. Photograph: Yawar Nazir/Getty Images

A curfew is like a collective strangulation. You proscribe movement, talk, communication and assembly. You cut off the very sustenance of life: food, milk, medicine. You choke a people, because you fear, no, dread, what the curfewed other might say to the world. Indian-controlled Kashmir has been under curfew for the last five days; everything is shut down, locked up, besieged. Newspapers have been seized, editors verbally instructed by police officials not to print, TV channels, except of course the government-run ones, have been blocked. People are not allowed to travel except if you have a bullet in your body and are still breathing inside an ambulance. This latest imposition – Kashmir’s modern history is bookmarked by chapter after chapter of sieges and martial-law like curfews – came soon after Mohammad Afzal Guru was hanged by India for his involvement in the attack on India’s parliament in 2001 in which nine people were killed.

In a case widely criticised for its dodgy investigation, the absence of a fair trial and most crucially, the lack of evidence beyond reasonable doubt, the supreme court of India, upholding sentences of lower courts, sentenced Afzal Guru to a double death sentence in 2005. There was only circumstantial evidence against him, the court admitted, but the “collective conscience of society” could only be soothed with this execution. As soon as what many call a miscarriage of justice was performed in Delhi’s Tihar Jail, the Indian government effectively shut off the Valley from the world. It was almost automatic, a reflex, and why wouldn’t it be, for the powerful and increasingly militaristic Indian state is well rehearsed in dealing with the oppressed and weak of Kashmir.

So the run of play in this heartless display of retributive justice was this: you hang a Kashmiri in Delhi and then, to complete the picture, to make the performance full, immediately put Kashmir under a military siege. A country that needs to impose a curfew every time it fears what it calls “unrest” in a region that it claims as an integral part should by now have learned that it is not an integral part. It never was.

It was not just the hanging but also the manner of it – executed while the world slept, in secret and in great haste, as thieves do when they embark on their dark deeds – that makes this execution a symbol of the deep moral rot at the heart of the Indian state. Indian authorities chose not to inform Afzal Guru’s family prior to the hanging and quietly buried him in prison. His brother has said they learned of his execution on TV. A letter sent by the government of India to Afzal Guru’s wife reached her two days after the execution. Even the public prosecutor responsible for Afzal Guru’s trial has admitted that it was a violation of his rights as well as of India’s prison manuals that state a person on death row must be allowed family visits.

What kind of state makes sure that the wife and young son of a man it is about to execute, do not see him, touch him or hear him talk, one last time? Kashmiris, in mourning and in fury, erected a tombstone over an empty grave in the main martyrs’ graveyard in the Kashmiri capital, Srinagar. The text of the epitaph was the same as that of another epitaph, erected in memory of Maqbool Bhat, the founder of Kashmir’s main pro-independence militant group turned political formation the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, who was hanged in the same jail 29 years ago. The epitaph reads, “The martyr of the nation, Mohammad Afzal Guru, Date of Martyrdom: 9th February 2013 Saturday, whose mortal remains are lying in the custody of the Government of India. The nation is awaiting its return.”

On the morning of 13 February, Kashmiri news websites reported that the police had removed and destroyed the tombstone and then, after the news spread via Twitter and Facebook, a replacement tombstone mysteriously reappeared. The Kashmiri phrases, Qabr Chhoor and Kafan Chhoor, titles for those who rob graves or shrouds are deployed to describe the basest of thieves. The swiftness of the execution, and the macabre theatre that followed, which included an offer by the Indian government that Afzal’s family will be allowed to pray once by his grave in prison that the family promptly turned down, is disturbingly reminiscent of Franco’s Spain.

I learned of the execution in London and struggled to make sense of it. I still do. It was, for reasons moral and legal – judicial review is available to even people denied a presidential pardon – somehow unbelievable, although by no means unexpected. Does the world’s so-called largest democracy really want to be seen as a nation revelling in a retrograde, made-for-TV bloodlust?

I began to think of Ghalib, Afzal Guru’s 14-year-old son, who, accompanied by his mother a few years ago, went to the head of the Indian state with a mercy petition, begging the president to pardon his father’s life. Clearly, the president wasn’t listening. He had to, as the judge had decreed in the supreme court of India’s verdict, satisfy the “collective conscience of the society,” which will “only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender”.

It is of course impossible to understand the complex moral arithmetic necessary to arrive at the perfect potion needed to assuage the collective conscience of a billion people. I began to think of writing about it, answering an urge to say what I, and many others, felt. I struggled, despairing about the powerlessness, and perhaps pointlessness, of an op-ed or essay. I also began to feel lonely, for in spite of the proliferation of conversations on social media, a solidarity of the oppressed and the besieged is hard to find amid the buzz of the internet or a postmodern metropolis.

What was the Indian state trying to say, one must ask? Surely, it can’t simply be explained, as some analysts have done, as merely a hideous expression of the compulsions of electoral realpolitik in which political parties in India become eager to sink to new moral lows to outdo their rivals. It’s a message to the Kashmiri people, an occupying power yelling at the powerless natives that you must bow and genuflect, that the hangman’s noose can extend beyond the gallows, casting its dark shadow over children’s milk and medicines for old couples.

Two moments seem to have entered history. Kashmiris creating a hollow grave as a mausoleum to memory and resistance and India making a craven declaration: that a Kashmiri corpse can be seditious. It must remain in prison.

 

Dear Omar,
 I am forwarding the email I have received from Mr. G.M. Kaloo, President of the J&K Press Association, whom you had met several months back at my request. I have been receiving several such emails from various persons stating that newspapers are not being allowed to be published/distributed in Kashmir, cell phones and internet services have been disabled, and other restrictions placed after the hanging of Afzal Guru.
  My own thinking in the matter is this : no freedom can be absolute, and hence press freedom under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution can also not be absolute, but is subject to reasonable restrictions in the public interest vide Article 19(2).
 Kashmir has a law and order problem, and ordinarily it is the state government which is the best judge of the situation and the way to handle it. Hence we should ordinarily respect the decision of the state government. The state government may have thought that for some time there should be a restraint on press freedom, because while many newspapers are responsible, some are not, and may publish inflammatory material which may create a huge law and order problem by inciting people to violence. Hence for some time a restraint order may be justified.
 However, if the restraint is continued too long it may become unreasonable and unjustified. After all, there has to be a limit to the time duration of the restraint order, and it cannot continue indefinitely. People have to be allowed to let off steam and express their grievances peacefully,otherwise their grievances will erupt violently. There is a proverb “Words break no bones”.
 I would therefore request that you consider the matter and discuss it with Mr. Kaloo and other respected and responsible journalists of J&K, and then pass appropriate orders.
  You know that I hold you in respect, and I know of the difficult situation you are facing, and so I hope you will not mind my expressing my view, which I think to be in your interest.
 Regards
 Justice Katju
Subodh Mukoo wrote:
Adab,
Publication of news paper has been stopped by the government and thus people deprived of information about day to day developments in Kashmir Valley .
G. H. Kaloo
President
Jammu Kashmir Press Association(JKPA)
(Subodh K Mukoo)
National Coordinator, JKPA


CM Omar Abdullah‘s Reply :

Dear Justice Katju,

With reference to your emails of today please find attached below my response which I hope you will take in to consideration while making any public statements regarding the media in Kashmir.

Best regards

Omar Abdullah

With reference to your e-mails, I fully share your concern regarding continuation of restrictions in the Kashmir Valley.
The facts are under:-
·       The execution of Afzal Guru took place on Saturday (Feb 9). On Saturday night, some local newspapers like Kashmir Images and Kashmir Reader and a few local Urdu dailies did print and publish their newspapers.
·         Circulation of these papers by the vendors was not possible as there were severe restrictions on any kind of movement in Srinagar city, in particular, and all over Kashmir valley at large.
·         We have been given to understand that on Sunday newspapers have not printed their editions as restrictions were continuing in Kashmir valley and circulation of the same would not have been possible, even if they were to be printed.
·        It may be mentioned that Jammu editions of the Kashmir based papers did get circulated.
·      The Information Department has not issued any directive to the publishers by putting any restrictions.
·         It is true that the internet facilities on GPRS enabled phones  have suffered, but Broadband  Desktop internet facilities are available and the newspapers are updating their editions online.
·        With the Government proposing to ease restrictions in Kashmir valley as the situation improves, movement of vehicles would also be getting facilitated and we are sure that the media publications would also get circulated.
·        The security/ law and order concerns and the restrictions in Kashmir Valley has well been appreciated by you and we acknowledge it with all humility.

 

Court lists bail matter for hearing on Monday

Danish Farooq detention case

KT NEWS SERVICE SRINAGAR, and Greater Kashmir

Dec 1: A city court today remanded Danish Farooq to police custody till December 9. Farooq, a ninth standard student arrested by Kral Khud police station in second week of last month under charges relating to stone pelting.
Sources in prosecution said the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) has listed Farooq’s bail application for hearing on Monday. Advocate Babar Jan Qadri, the counsel for Farooq’s family, said the court has listed both bail and contempt matters for hearing on Monday.
On November 30, the Amnesty International (AI) expressed concern over “arbitrarily detention of 16 year-old, Danish Farooq’ and how the authorities are treating him as an adult rather than a child.

Family members of a class 9 student Danish Farooq of downtown here have accused police of detaining their ‘minor’ son in a jail in violation of juvenile norms. However police refuted the family claims, saying Danish is 16 years old and ‘hence not a minor’. The boy has been booked for ‘attempt to murder’ besides other harsh sections.
Danish was whisked away by police personnel of Kral Khud police station on Monday outside lower court here after he was granted bail in another case registered against him in Shaheed Gunj police station, said Danish’s uncle.
“He was first arrested at around 11:30 AM near Gole Market Karan Nagar on 19th of November by police personnel of Shaheed Gunj police station,” he said.
He said Danish was produced in court only after the family filed an application for his release. “We have never had tryst with courts and are unaware of procedures followed there, so we used to make rounds of police station everyday for his release.”
Advocate Babar Qadri, who represented Danish in the case registered in Shaheed Gunj police station, says the boy was slapped with harsh laws. “He was arrested under FIR number 77/2012 under sections 152 RPC, 138 RPC, 148 RPC, 147 RPC. He was rearrested by Kral Khud police station after being granted bail. He is a class 9 student of Tiny Tots School Fateh Kadal. He is a juvenile.”

POLICE VERSION
However, police in a press handout said, “Srinagar police had arrested a notorious stone pelter, Danish Farooq Wani son of Farooq Ahmad Wani resident of Chattabal at present Purshyar Habba Kadal, and presented him before the court. The stone-pelter is involved in number of stone pelting incidents including a petrol bomb attack for which a case FIR no: 26/2012 under section 307, 285, 336/RPC stands registered against him in police station Kral Khud. The accused was arrested and presented before the Hon’ble Court of Sub-Registrar, Srinagar. As per the records of the Board of School Education, the date of birth of the accused is 6/6/1996. The Court remanded him to police custody for not being a minor.”
In a statement, AI demanded his release. AI said Farooq was first arrested on November 19 under sections 152, 138, 148, and 147 of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC). All charges relate to incidents of “stone-pelting.” After three days of arbitrary detention in police custody without any legal grounds, he was produced in court, which ordered his release on bail. Before any release Farooq was re-arrested on November 23 under sections 307, 285, 336 of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC ) for “attempt to murder” for his alleged involvement in a petrol bomb attack. According to latest reports, he remains in police custody and it is unclear when he will appear before the local court in Srinagar.
“Farooq’s family has been denied the right to communicate with him or see him, and is currently unaware of his condition. A police representative has told Farooq’s family that Farooq will not be presented in court within the required time period set by law, but will keep him in custody for two months. He has not had access to a lawyer during this time,” AI statement said.
The statement added that India is legally obliged, under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC), which it ratified in 1992, to establish laws and procedures specifically applicable to children, and to define minors as all individuals younger than 18. “This means that India must ensure no individual younger than 18 years of age is arrested, detained, or tried under ordinary criminal law without the safeguards meant to protect children. However, J&K Juvenile Justice Act, 1997, treats boys over the age of 16 as adults, in violation of the UN CRC and international human rights law. Amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act are currently being discussed by the J&K Legislative Assembly. If these amendments are successful, all children below 18 years of age will be treated as juveniles,” the statement said.
It added that Farooq is a child under an international treaty that is binding on India, and so the manner of his arrest and detention must be compatible with this treaty.
Further, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which India has also ratified, prohibits the arbitrary deprivation of liberty and among other things provides that states party – including India – must ensure that any person being arrested is brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power, the statement viewed.
Amnesty International called on the J&K police to end Farooq’s “arbitrary and unlawful detention, and either release him or produce him immediately before a magistrate”. “If a court decides that he has to remain in detention, Farooq must be moved to a juvenile detention home and be granted all the safeguards and protections guaranteed to children by the CRC and for judicial proceedings to go forward in accordance with international human rights law. He should also be granted, without delay, access to his family, and they should be kept informed of his whereabouts and condition, as well as access to a lawyer of his or his family’s choice,” the statement said Amnesty International also urged the J&K authorities to halt the practice of arbitrary detentions in the state, in particular of children.

Amnesty International reiterated its call to the J&K government to amend the Juvenile Justice Act to bring it at par with the CRC.

 Dec2, 2012, FirstPost

Srinagar: A fresh round of curfew was enforced today in parts of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, following fresh sectarian tension yesterday.

“Curfew has been imposed in Zadibal and Nowhatta police station areas and Urdu Bazaar police post area as a precautionary measure,” a police spokesman said.

Representational image. AFP.

He said the curfew was in place to prevent further clashes and any possible loss of life or property. Authorities had on Wednesday enforced a curfew in nine
police station areas of the city following sectarian clashes in Hawal area, falling under Zadibal police station.

Though the earlier three-day long restriction was lifted yesterday, it was again imposed in Hawal and adjoining areas after fresh clashes broke out in the area.
So far there are no reports of any violence in the curfew-bound areas while rest of the city remained peaceful.

PTI

 

By Shahid Tantray

24 November, 2012
Countercurrents.org

I have been thinking about writing the story since long time. The story is not about any disaster or any tragedy but one of the harsh experiences till now in my life. The experiences which I witnessed in Kashmir, where I live, which is my homeland, where I work, do my professional duty.

I am a Photo-Journalist from Indian administered Kashmir. It is a big deal here in Kashmir to be a journalist or a photo journalist. Photojournalists have worked in dangerous places of the world like war Torn Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Palestine and other countries and Kashmir is no different from them. Kashmir – which is one of the world’s heaviest military zone, which has witnessed an armed insurgency since late 1980s, the civil uprisings in 2008 and 2010. The media has remained affected in Kashmir every time whether it is armed insurgency period or mass civil uprising. Sometimes you are forced to report opposite of the facts, media and press is curbed and press personals which include photo journalists are beaten, assaulted, detained without any charge. This is the place, where I work.I have been telling stories of others through photographs, but here I won’t do that. I will tell my own story, but not through photographs’ will tell, how the forth pillar of democracy is kicked with boots, gun-butts, assaulted, thrashed, dragged, detained and then locked like a criminal in a lock up. This happened last year on this day of November when I came to know for whom laws and justice is.

It was a cloudy morning of winter. I left my home for Press Colony –in Lalchowk – for my daily routine work. It was a Friday and transport was off from roads because of a Strike called by pro freedom leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani against the detention of minors. People were observing strike with roads presenting deserted look, while few Vehicles were seen plying. I reached Press Colony.

Most of the offices of news and media organizations are located here. It is a favorite spot for people to register protest as they get good coverage here but today it was calm in Press colony. No protest by people or any organization. It was unusual calm. As the time arrived, I offered Friday prayers in mosque situated nearby, and after completing my prayers; I went to Maisuma and clicked some shots. Sky was full of clouds and rain was to be expected any time. I came back to Press Colony and was enjoying tea in a stall, located in Middle of Press colony which also serves a meeting point for journalists. After having tea, I left to SarafKadal- a downtown locality of Srinagar, famous and epicenter for Anti India clashes and protests. My friend Showkat Shafi – who is also a photojournalist, was accompanying me. We went on a motorcycle and reached there at 3:25 PM.There were heavy clashes going on between stone throwing youth and paramilitary CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police. We parked our motorcycle and started our professional duty. There was chaos. For a moment I was unable to understand. The police and paramilitary had surrounded the stone throwing youth from every side and they started to run for safety. I was from the side of forces.

Suddenly some CRPF personals came and started beating me with Bamboo sticks. They kicked me with their long leather boots, assaulted with gun butts. One of the men among them broke my head with a brick. In the meantime, my head started bleeding. As I was being thrashed and assaulted by CRPF men, top police officials who included North city Superintendent of Indian Police ShowkatHussain Shah, Station House Officer (SHO) Iqbal Shah of Nowhatta Police Station arrived and they started abusing photo-journalists.

“Now you will see what Nowhatta police station means,” said Iqbal Shah, in an angry voice. I was taken to Police Station Nowhatta in an armored police vehicle and we were accompanying with many Minor stone throwers in that police Vehicle. On that day 53 youths were arrested.

I was thinking within myself that what is the reason behind my detention? And instantly the answer came into my mind. Before a month I took photographs of minors, who were arrested by police on charges of stone throwing. They were presented in court and were handcuffed. I did my professional job by clicking there pictures, which irked police officials and from that day I was threatened of dire consequences.

When I reached police station Nowhatta, SHO asked, “What is your profession,” I answered, “I am a Photo journalist.”
“What is your name?” he questioned.

I replied “My name is Shahid Tantray”.

As I said Shahid Tantray, he became aghast. He went into his room and took out batons and started beating me. He broke my camera and its lenses.

“Now you will click the photographs of minors”, he said in a loud angry voice after breaking my camera. They snatched my mobile phone, wallet, belt and other articles. An officer of paramilitary CRPF came and said “You people want Azadi (Freedom)?”

I replied “yes I want Azadi in my work and profession’. He asked,“What do you do?

I replied “I am a photojournalist”

After my reply, he went back in a state of sadness.

My health condition was very bad .I was unable to stand on my legs because I was beaten ruthlessly. I had never experienced the kind of situation, which I faced that day. I was in a lock up along with other detainees, mainly minor stone throwers.

One of stone thrower brought tea for me, which his family had brought for him. I was taking sip from the tea but my ankle and neck was paining which was unbearable for me, blood was oozing from my head. I was amazed with the courage of minor boys who were detained there. They were in a same condition. They too were beaten and kicked by police and paramilitary personals. The blood was oozing from their different body parts. But these boys were encouraging me; they cleaned the blood which was on my face and head. They lifted me and put blankets on me. They all were serving me like a guest. I prayed for them and still I make Dua for them and their success.

At 8:15 P.M one of the police man came and said, “Whoever is injured, we will take them to hospital in Police Control Room,” while addressing boys who were in lock-up which included me as well.

A police officer came there who was Munshi, he was bearded and when Isaw him, I thought he is will be a good person and will offer sympathybut my entire guess was wrong.Munshi (Police official) ordered cops to handcuff us all.

They handcuffed, and I told the Munshi (police official), “MunshiJi –I am not a criminal. I am a journalist, I have not been booked under article 302 (under 302 one is booked for murder)”.But my words were unbearable. Police man slapped me and dragged me into a vehicle.He started abusing me and Syed Ali Shah Geelani. It was strange like Iwas an activist of Geelani’sparty. I was taken to Police control room for treatment. The doctors thereare also police personals. I was given medical treatment. DoctorsOrdered other cops to open the cuffs of mine. They said that he isinjured and have multiple injuries.

Then I was again handcuffed and took me back to police station Nowhatta.The minor boys were also taken to police control room for thetreatment. Their parents had come to see them, but they were detainedby police and minor boys were freed. I pleaded one of the father of minor boy to for cell phone so that Icouldcontact my friend as well my mentor – Danish Ismail. I told himthat I am detained.

He replied “Don’t worry I am coming”.

At 10:25, Danish Ismail came. Before his arrival, I was feeling alone,strange and helpless. But as I saw him, all these kind of feelings instantly went away. The SHO told him “you can take him”. TheMunshi came and I was taken out from lock up.I told to give my camera back. He brought my broken camera and lenses and said “you can take, this is your camera’. I told him that this isbroken and was broken by your people. He replied “Sahab (SHO) was angry and now take this”. I didn’t agree. I told them that when I was brought here my camera was fine. I want my camera. He replied back “If youwant your camera, then you must leave your phone, wallet and other articles here”.

Danish told me to leave these things here and let’s go.

Danish took directly me for treatment to Bone and Joint hospital,Barzulla and doctors X-rayed my body parts. The X – ray was showing fracture in my neck and ankle. An Iron nail was stuck in my right elbow. Compounder told doctor “Doctor saeb he has puncture “I said to him that what is this ‘puncture’?

He said “It is a medical term we use when there is a hole on some body’s body”. They treated me and then I was shifted for SKIMS hospital at about 11.30p.m. and my whole family was with me. Danish – whom I consider my mentor and a best friend was accompanying me continuously.

I was shifted to SKIMS. My father was weeping. Next day, I wasdischarged from the hospital but I was bed-ridden for a month.

When police broke my professional equipment’s and other articles. I approached the concerned Superintendent of Police ShowkatHussain Shahwho assured in return for due compensation and informed that the camera was seized under section 525 and would release after the orders of Tehsildar (magistrate). “You can also claim the benefits ofinsurance as well”, SP informed and I replied I don’t needcompensation I need my camera.

Earlier, Chief Minister had promised to probe the matter. He, in his speech at Jammu had asked media persons to adopt the uniform code as would help the security forces to differentiate between protesters and media persons. Police, when they attacked me they knew I was journalist but they still broke my professional equipment’s and used force against me.

After all what happened, only this thought kept revolving my mind,what am I? Why was I beaten? Hard to answer of all this for months after that incident, I now knowswhat am I? Only after getting thrashed by cops without any reason I amnow aware what my Job Is? I am now aware who I am?Yes, I am a Journalist because I believe there are people out there who have stories that the world needs to hear. Yes, I am a Journalistbecause I feel stories of war, injustice and cruelties that we wouldfind hard to believe and hard to hear would be reported and I am bornto do same. Yes, I am a Journalist because I know truth has been fedto people; to the people who are unaware of what Kashmir is? Yes, I ama journalist because I am one. Yes, I don’t tell stories but as they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Yes, I am a Photo Journalist from Indian administered Kashmir.