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10 journalists killed in Kashmir insurgency

Srinagar, May 12, 2008:

The killing of a Jammu based photojournalist on Sunday while covering a gunfight between insurgents and troops brings the number of journalists killed during 18 years of insurgency against Indian rule in the region to 10.

Ashok Sodhi, photo chief of a Jammu based English daily ‘Excelsior’, who was covering a gun fight between troops and insurgents in Samba area of the region was killed when a bullet pierced his head.

The first journalist killed in Kashmir insurgency was Lassa Koul, who was shot dead by insurgents in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir in 1992.

His death was followed by that of ANI photojournalist Mushtaq Ali in a parcel bomb explosion on September 7, 1995.

Two other journalists, Yousef Jameel of the BBC and Habib Naqash of the Asian Age escaped with injuries in the blast.

On January 1, 1997 another journalist Altaf Ahmed Faktoo was shot dead in Srinagar.

On March 16, the same year a part-time journalist Saidian Shafi was shot dead along with his bodyguard in Srinagar.

This was followed by the killing of Hindustan Times photojournalist Pradeep Bhatia in a landmine blast in Srinagar on August 10, 2000.

Parvaz Muhammad Sultan, editor of a local news agency, was killed by unidentified gunmen in 2003.

Senior reporter of region’s information department Abdul Majid Bhat was killed in a blast in Doda town on May 9, 2004.

Another scribe Asiya Nabi was killed in a landmine blast in Kupwara on April 20, 2004.

Muhammad Shaban Vakil, editor of a vernacular newspaper was also killed in early nineties.

Besides them, over 18 journalists have been injured during the years of insurgency.

Some of the journalists who escaped with injuries in bomb explosions and attacks include Zafar Iqbal of the New Delhi based NDTV, Zaffar Mehraj, Yousuf Jameel, Habib Naqash, Tauseef Mustafa, Muzaffar Salam and Shahid Rashid.



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