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Kashmiri journalists says police attacks a 'state design'

Srinagar, September 01, 2008:

Journalists in Indian administered Kashmir say that recent attacks on them by police were probably a "deliberate designs of state agencies".

Some fifty Kashmiri journalists were badly thrashed by Indian federal and local police since last Sunday when a strict curfew was imposed in Muslim dominated Kashmir Valley to clamp down on mounting pro-freedom demonstrations.

Some of the thrashed journalists had to be hospitalised.

A statement issued by Srinagar based journalists Sunday said:

"We have reasons to believe that the attacks happen by deliberate design of the State agencies. When the governor N N Vohra was informed about these attacks, he pleaded ignorance and, in presence of some members of press and the secretary information, instructed the Director General of Police not to let such attacks to continue.

"However, to present just one instance, the attacks continued the next day, confirming our suspicion that the attacks are carried out by design. Journalists have faced irrational demands from CRPF personnel manning the streets like 'you are not carrying a curfew pass for your camera.' Such instances could tell volumes."

The journalists demanded an end to "intimidation" of journalists.

The New York based Committee to Protect Journalists this week called the situation for news media in Kashmir dire and asked Indian authorities to protect journalists and lift restrictions on media workers in the region.

None of the Srinagar based newspapers could bring out their print editions for at least a week in the face of heavy restrictions and harassment of their staff.

Authorities have also banned the local cable television channels from airing news and current affairs programmes.

List of recent attacks on journalists by Indian security forces in Kashmir

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