Indian police raid homes, question 4 journalists in occupied Kashmir
SRINAGAR: Police in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IOK) raided the homes of four journalists on Wednesday, triggering concerns of a further crackdown on press freedom in the disputed region.
After the raids in Srinagar, the region’s main city, the four journalists were summoned to local police stations where they were questioned. Police did not specify the reason for the raids.
Police seized documents and electronic devices, including cellphones and laptops, belonging to the journalists and their spouses.
Three of the journalists have written for foreign media while one is an editor of a monthly news magazine.
Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) identified the four journalists as Showkat Matta, editor of the Kashmir Narrator magazine; TRT World and Huffington Post contributor Hilal Mir; and freelancers Azhar Qadri and Abbas Shah.
RSF said it “firmly condemns” the police raids at the journalists' residences, terming them “crude intimidation”.
Journalists in the IOK have long worked under tremendous stress and have been targeted in the past, some fatally, by both the Indian government and militant groups.
Journalists have said harassment and threats by police increased after India revoked Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status and divided the region into two federally governed territories amid an unprecedented lockdown in 2019. - AP