SRINAGAR: About 12 video and photo-journalists besides reporters -- representing local, national and international media houses -- were allegedly thrashed by security forces (SFs) on Wednesday when they were covering an encounter in downtown Srinagar.
Kashmir National Television Journalists Association (KNTJA) and other media associations have condemned the incident.
Scores of reporters and photo-journalists reached Fateh Kadal in downtown Srinagar, to cover the encounter between militants and security forces which ensued during Cordon and Search Operation (CASO).
However, the journalists alleged that they were thrashed by security forces without any provocation when they were discharging their professional duty at a distance from encounter site, where clashes were going on.
The journalists further said that they were beaten by security force personnel in front of senior officials.
''We were beaten deliberately to stop us from covering the developments of the encounter, that too in front of senior security forces officials.
It is a direct attack on the freedom of the press'' a photo-journalist, who works for a national newspaper, told UNI.
Some of the injured reporters and photo-journalists were taken to a local hospital.
''KNTJA has strongly condemned the thrashing of journalists at the encounter site in Srinagar. Journalists were beaten up for performing their professional duties. This is simply a case of highhandedness of security forces,'' a spokesperson of the association said.
He said what is more worrisome is that journalists were beaten in front of senior officers of security forces.
''State administration should take strong action against the accused security forces personnel so that such incidents are not repeated again,'' he added.
Three militants were killed and a policeman martyred in an encounter in downtown Srinagar on Wednesday morning, following which authorities have suspended mobile internet services and ordered closure of schools and colleges.