Agence France-Presse photographer Tauseef Mustafa in Srinagar has alleged that a police officer of Jammu and Kashmir grabbed him by the throat and threatened to shoot him. This incident reportedly occurred during a clash between journalists and police personnel ahead of a joint press conference held by separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik on Thursday.
The Hindustan Times reported that the altercation took place in front of the residence of separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani in the locality of Hyderpora. While the police were present to arrest the separatist leaders, the media was trying to take photographs. One police officer grabbed hold of Mustafa's throat while he was trying to take photographs. "One of the officers caught me by the neck and starting choking me. He said he was from the SOG (special operations group), and threatened to shoot me," he told HT.
Another policeman reportedly drove a jeep over the feet of Mubashir Khan, a photographer with the Greater Kashmir newspaper, HT reported.
In a statement, the Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) said: "While entire press corps that had assembled to cover the event were threatened and chased, at least two news photographers were beaten for no reason at all."
"KEG has taken a strong exception to the misuse of power for muzzling the media. This has, unfortunately, been a routine than an exception," the body said, calling for intervention of the government "at the highest level."
Journalists in Kashmir are planning to carry out a demonstration on Saturday in order to protest the police violence against them, Press Trust of India reported.
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