Photojournalists working with Al Jazeera, Zuma 'beaten, detained'


Two photojournalists, including a foreign national on Friday were allegedly detained, beaten to pulp by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers and policemen during pro-freedom demonstrations in the Old City of Srinagar.

Eyewitnesses told Kashmir Dispatch that Showkat Shafi, who works as a freelancer with Al Jazeera English website and his Mexcian friend- California-based Zuma Press photojournalist Narciso Contreras were allegedly thrashed to the pulp and later detained by the joint team of CRPF and police, when the duo were covering stone pelting protests in Nowhatta area of the Old City this afternoon.

The photojournalists, they said, were dragged by the forces to the police station Nowhatta, where they were detained 'illegally for over five hours'.

Both the photographers received serious injuries due to the beating. They were rushed to the SMHS hospital by their colleagues when released by police 'in an injured and traumatic condition'.

“We were performing our professional duty, when a contingent of CRPF men intercepted us in a lane. Without saying a word they pounced on us. They not only abused us, but beat us with bamboo sticks and gun butts for over 15 minutes,” a visibly shocked Shafi told this correspondent at the SMHS hospital, where he was brought by his colleagues.

The doctors at the hospital later referred Shafi to SK Institute of medical sciences for specialized treatment.

“We were later dragged to the police station. For 5 hours, we were detained. The cops didn’t even stop beating us inside the police station,” he added.

The forces, he said, were furious with their coverage of the protests.

“We were released in injured state. My friend has suffered multiple injuries in the forces action,” he said.

Contreras alleged that besides beating him ruthlessly police took away Rs 50,000 from his bag in the police station.

Meanwhile, police refuted the allegations and said that two photojournalists were released after being detained along with a few stone pelters inside a shop.

“Youth pelted stones on CRPF and our men. When chased, some of them entered a shop. At least six people were arrested from the shop, two among them later turned out to be photojournalists. They were released instantly,” Superintendent of Police (SP) North, Showkat Shah said.



+3 #6 Sabzar 2011-08-20 07:46
Not surprised at all, nothing new in this news. This has been goin gon in valley since 1989, who cares? The only thing that comes out is the 'Double Standards' of the so called Largest Democracy in the world. Look at the coverage and attention that is being given to Anna's protest and rightly so in Delhi. Look what's happening in Kashmir...
-3 #5 Manish 2011-08-19 23:32
Al Jazeera:these guys are spreading lot of Anti-India propaganda so beating 'ka tu haq banta hai'. Unlike Pakistani Rangers, who kill you right after questioning. Al Jazeera reporters still have their lives
+2 #4 yawar 2011-08-19 22:43
Mr Fudu Kashmiri Showkat Shafi was not carrying 50K but our foreign national Colleague Photojournalist was carrying the amount. they always carry their Passport, Money and equipment with them
+3 #3 Ali Mir 2011-08-19 22:43
Fudu Kashmiri he was just there to snap pics, he was carrying his bag with him which had 50k in big deal...could be any reason...stop being ignorant of the facts...he was really doing some awesome work which got shown in aljazeera too...the police wouldn't leave the chance of beating the shit out of such a guy...such a shame what this "democratic" india continues to do...and the story is not cooked up...all his friends and relatives are worrying about him at the moment.
+2 #2 Ameer Tarin 2011-08-19 21:47
Fudu Indian is showing his colours by abusing and using swear words for all Kashmris. What is fifty thousand rupees in today's India and what can it buy keeping in view the inflationary measures. One trip to farce road in Bombay costs much more than that. Fudu has to stop spitting venom as it is counter productive and it seems all fudus in India have written of Kashmir and the Junglee days.
-10 #1 Fudu Kashmiri 2011-08-19 18:19
What the hell was showkat Shafi doing with Rs 50,000 and no sane person would carry such a huge amount to a place where stone pelting was going on. This shows that the entire story was cooked up.

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