Two months after his arrest by NIA, J&K photojournalist’s family waits for answers

By | October 31, 2017

Written by Bashaarat Masood
| Tahab (pulwama) |
Up to date: October 31, 2017 5:40 am

kashmir, kashmir photojournalist, kashmir photojournalist arrested, kamran yusuf, kamran yusuf arrested, kashmir freelance photojournalist, nia, national investigating agency, nia investigation, kashmir, stone pelting, kashmir stone pelting, kashmir freelance photojournalist arrest, nia raids, indian express news Rubeena Akhtar and Md Y Ganai, mom and grandfather of photojournalist Kamran Yousuf who was arrested by NIA for alleged stone-pelting. (Categorical Picture: Shuaib Masoodi)

IN A store-room made from tin sheets, situated on the terrace of her two-room home in Tahab village, Rubeena Akhtar takes out previous newspapers she retains in a gunny sack. “Kashmir Occasions, Better Kashmir, Kashmir Uzma,” she murmurs as she takes the newspapers out one after the other, and exhibits the images in them. “Look. In all of them, you will see that footage he has taken.”

The credit score line reads ‘Kamran Yousuf/Pulwama’. Akhtar’s son, the 20-year-old photojournalist was arrested by the NIA on September four, for allegedly colluding with stone-throwing protesters. Practically two months later, his household asks for proof that they’ve discovered towards him.

“They’ve alleged he was taking cash,” says Akhtar, 42, when The Indian Categorical meets them earlier this month. “Kamran had three financial institution accounts — two of them have been closed lengthy again due to no transactions. The one operational checking account has Rs 1,900 in it.”

Pulwama Senior Superintendent of Police Mohammad Aslam admits there isn’t a FIR towards him. “However there are particular FIRs registered towards others the place we are attempting to determine if he had any position. That’s being verified.” Pressed a few particular case towards Kamran, Aslam mentioned they have been investigating a video uploaded by him of a Tricolour being burnt by protesters in Karimabad village.

NIA PRO Alok Mittal, nevertheless, says Kamran was arrested as “his title surfaced within the investigation of a terror-funding case”. “We got here to know later that he’s additionally working as a photojournalist.”

Along with his mom a single guardian, Kamran began working early. On the time of his arrest, he was working as a contract photojournalist for a number of native dailies and as a reporter and stringer for 2 Urdu tv channels, Gulistan Information and Musnif TV. “You’ll be able to verify it your self,” says Kamran’s maternal grandfather Mohammad Yousuf Ganai as he spreads out a number of paperwork and id playing cards on the ground.

The paperwork embody an id card from the Election Fee of India authorising him to cowl the parliamentary bypolls for Srinagar and Anantnag constituencies, a card from Gulistan Information exhibiting him as its reporter, and an id card from Munsif TV figuring out him as its stringer.

An authorisation letter from Gulistan Information to the Pulwama Deputy Commissioner, dated March 13, says, “…appointed and licensed Mr Kamran Yousuf Bhat R/O Pulwama as a reporter of Gulistan Information for Pulwama. Please enable him to take part in all of the occasions and VVIP capabilities… This authorization is legitimate until 31st March 2018.”

Ishfaq Gowhar, a senior official at Gulistan Information, confirms Kamran labored for them and that they’d issued him the authorisation letter. “He would ship us footage of various occasions. However he was not on our rolls.”

His colleagues say Kamran was devoted in direction of his work, and the primary to succeed in any information website, together with throughout encounters and protests — which has now been cited as proof towards him. “Kamran advised me that NIA (officers) have been asking him how he was current at each encounter website or protest. He mentioned they requested him why ‘stone-pelters’ would name him and ask him to cowl the protests. They requested why he would put in a lot effort to cowl the protests,” says Kamran’s uncle Irshad Ahmad Ganai, who has travelled to New Delhi to satisfy him in NIA custody.

The NIA hasn’t tortured him, Ahmad Ganai provides, however claims stress is being placed on him to show “approver”.

Kamran’s grandfather intervenes. “Generally Armymen too known as him to cowl their capabilities. The (Nationwide Convention) NC, PDP and even BJP officers known as him at occasions for protection of their occasions,” he says. “I advised him many occasions to keep away from such capabilities, however he mentioned it was his work,” says Yousuf Ganai.

Kamran was simply two years previous when his dad and mom separated, and his mom shifted into her father’s home. Kamran’s dad and mom bought divorced a few years later. “Once we urged Rubeena to remarry, she refused,” says Yousuf Ganai, a retired political science lecturer. “She mentioned she didn’t wish to spoil her son’s life.”

Akhtar took up work as a teacher-cum-clerk at an area non-public college to help her son and herself. It was solely not too long ago that Yousuf Ganai helped her assemble her personal home; the two-room, single-storey construction lies adjoining to his. After Kamran was arrested, a devastated Akhtar couldn’t keep there alone, and moved again into her dad and mom’ residence.

Akhtar says what retains her going is the two-minute weekly phone name Kamran is allowed. “He talks for a few minutes earlier than the road will get lower.” She hasn’t been to Delhi although to satisfy him. “We had no thought the place the NIA workplace was and the place Kamran was lodged,” says Ahmad Ganai. “That’s why I went.”

As Akhtar talks, her eyes hold drifting to the final photographs Kamran took, printed in Kashmir Uzma, a number one Urdu day by day, on August 27. One exhibits J&Ok Police chief S P Vaid at a wreath-laying ceremony for policemen killed in an attacked on District Police Traces in Pulwama. One other exhibits a constructing stormed by militants.

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