India’s NIA takes arrested IIOJK photojournalist to Delhi

Srinagar, October 28 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, India’s notorious National Investigations Agency (NIA) has arrested a young freelance journalist and his brother from Srinagar and shifted them to New Delhi.

The journalist, Manan Gulzar Dar, whose work has featured in international publications like The Guardian, was summoned to the police station in Srinagar’s Batamaloo locality on October 10 in connection with a false case.

A photojournalist by profession, one of Dar’s images from the aftermath of an encounter in Srinagar in July this year was featured in the Guardian’s ‘Twenty photographs of the week’ section.

His father, Gulzar Ahmad Dar told media that he had handed his son over to police investigators who questioned him in Srinagar for nearly a fortnight before NIA officers flew him to New Delhi.

“We got to know, through newspapers, that he had been arrested. More than a fortnight has passed but we don’t know if he is alive or dead. Police told us he has been arrested by the NIA and taken to New Delhi,” said Gulzar Ahmad, who is a retired government employee.

The NIA had arrested Manan’s brother, Hanan Gulzar Dar, a college student, earlier this month. He had been booked in false case.

Fahmeeda Akhtar, Manan’s mother, said, “We thought it was routine questioning since many journalists are being picked up by police in Kashmir these days.”

The two brothers are among 13 people who have been arrested in the false case filed by the NIA under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Indian Penal Code (IPC) after the killing of members of the minority community earlier this month.

Manan’s arrest comes against the backdrop of a crackdown on independent journalists in Kashmir, three of whom have been booked under the UAPA while dozens have been questioned over their professional work. In some cases, the questioning has lasted several hours.

The Indian police recently detained four Kashmiri journalists, Showkat Motta, Shah Abbas, Mir Hilal and Azhar Qadri. While their gadgets, such as mobile phones and laptops, have been seized, no formal charges have been pressed against them so far.