Several photojournalists were thrashed by some persons while covering protest at Nowhatta area here on Friday.
Reports said as scribes and photojournalists reached Nowhatta area to cover the protests, some persons, believed to be “henchmen” of a political party started blaming journalists for “triggering” chaotic situation in the area every Friday.
As photojournalists were discharging their duty, some of these men showed up at Nowhatta square and started beating Kashmir Life’s Photo Chief, Bilal Bahadur, besides his other colleagues.
“I along with my colleagues was preparing to return office when some men started blaming us for fanning the protests in the area,” Bilal Bahadur said. “And then suddenly, one man hit me on my face. I fell down and in between, another person started kicking me,” Bilal said. He suffered bruises on his leg.
They also hurled abuses on the newsmen on the spot. Veteran photojournalist Habib Naqash said “we were normally covering the protest when a police party dispersed us. And then we saw some men staring at us from a distance. They came closer and started abusing us. I don’t think they were civilians, as many locals turned up in our support once those men surrounded us,” Naqash said.
Another photojournalist Javed Dar, said: “never in my 15 year career as photojournalist, have I seen civilians attacking journalists at Nowhatta. Those who pounced on us this Friday didn’t look like locals. They were standing in a separate group at Nowhatta square. They were probably from some political party.”