In a brazen display of high handedness The Kashmir Walla journalist, Kaiser Andrabi, was beaten up and illegally detained inside Fateh Kadal Police station, Downtown, Srinagar, citing his ‘funky attire’, and ‘open shirt button’.
Mr. Andrabi was slapped, kicked and hit multiple times with wood-baton and gun-butt inside police station Fateh Kadal in the presence of registrar, last evening, for wearing, what the policemen described as ‘funky clothes’.
Mr. Andrabi went to the said police station to fetch his Press identity card which was seized during the day time. “I was stopped at a naka during the daytime when I was going to attend my fellow reporter, Saide Zahoor Shah, who got injured while covering the clashes,” he said. “Since it was sort of an emergency, I requested them to not take my bike, but keep the ID card. They let me go, and asked to visit the police station in the evening to collect the card.”
When Mr. Andrabi went back to the police station at 6:30 pm, he was verbally abused, insulted and later physically assaulted, while knowing that he belongs to press fraternity. “I was first rebuked then later beaten for wearing a buttonless shirt,” he said.
As Mr. Andrabi told, he was asked by the police officer, “Murga ban ja yaha par.” (Pose like a hen) Mr. Andrabi refused and questioned their way of handling.
Mr. Andrabi, who was fasting, fell mildly unconscious, and also suffered injuries in his abdomen. Currently, he is in the hospital where doctors have prescribed him medicines and asked to go through some medical tests as well.
When this reporter went to the said police station to see Mr. Andrabi, the police official on duty taunted him the same: ‘funky clothes’. The registrar on duty told this reporter that he (Mr. Andrabi) is a hot-blood guy, and seems like ‘affected from Pulwama’s air’.
In October last year, three The Kashmir Walla’s journalists, Online News Editor Saqib Mugloo, Features Writer Kaiser Andrabi and Multimedia Journalist Bhat Burhan, were thrashed mid-road, and were asked to “shove the press card up in the ass.” They were arrested during the clashes between youth and the government forces. Eyewitnesses said that the forces beat them up badly and took them away in a Rakshak vehicle.
Police and government forces regularly bar journalists of The Kashmir Walla during curfews and shutdowns from moving around the city for reporting.