Journalists facing tough situation in Kashmir

Journalists in the Kashmir Valley are facing a tough time covering protest-related violence in which more than 30 people were killed and several others injured, with both people and security forces turning hostile.

Kashmiris, who took to streets after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani’s killing, believe that news channels were not showing a true picture of the ground situation in the valley.

“There is a strong public anger against the media, whom they call ‘Indian media’, for ‘hiding the truth and relying on state propaganda,” reported Adil Akhzer of The Indian Express, who faced outburst of the cousin of an injured whose eyes were hit by pellets.

In his news article ‘Why a protester injured in violence in Kashmir threatened to beat me’, Akhzer said, “Monday was not the first time I encountered such angry faces.

Even on Saturday evening, when I reached the hospital along with my photographer to interview protestors admitted there, we were asked to leave the premises after we identified ourselves as journalists. Some elders in the ward thankfully cooled tempers in the ward and we were able to move out safely.”

This is the story of practically every journalist working in Kashmir right now, he added.

However, for journalists, the situation is no less confronting from security forces as well. Many journalists, especially accompanied by cameras, gathering news from the middle, told ANI on condition of anonymity that they were time and again threatened by security forces of consequences if they did not stop coverage.

In such a hostile situation, journalists are not only betting their lives, but also facing stiff resistance from both people and the state authorities.