IIOJK journalist says cops beat up her parents

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Kashmiri photojournalist, Masarrat Zahra has tweeted that the police had thrashed her parents on a busy market road in Srinagar. “This is the everyday life of Kashmiris,” she added.

Masarrat Zahra, who is currently in Germany, was one of three Kashmiri journalists who were booked under the anti-terrorism law UAPA last year, with the police accusing her of “frequently uploading anti-India posts with criminal intention”.

Zahra’s father, Mohammad Amin Dar, 55, said he and his wife, Feroza Fatima, were looking for an auto rickshaw on the busy Batamaloo main road when police stopped them, apparently because Feroza Fatima wasn’t wearing a mask. “They asked us where the mask was. We showed it to them. But they began beating me,” Muhammad Amin Dar said. “There were many people but nobody ob-jected.”

Feroza Fatima, 47, said that they were far from the 5-6 policemen who called for them. “We were just walking when they told us to go over,” she re-counted. “They themselves weren’t wearing masks. I had removed it because it was hot.”

Amin Dar went over to ask the policemen why they had called for the couple, Fatima said, but “they started beating him”. “He was kicked as well,” she added.

At this point, Feroza Fatima said she tried rescu-ing her husband, but the cops “caught me by my hair and my arms”. “They accused me of attacking a policeman. I said that I did it because they were beating up my husband in front of me,” she added.

As the thrashing wouldn’t stop, Feroza Fatima said, she screamed. “They threatened to kill my husband because I was crying,” she added. “I didn’t understand what the reason was. I was shocked. Should we not walk on the roads? Are you wearing a uniform for the protection of the public or to beat them up?”, she deplored.

The police only let the couple go after seizing Dar’s Aadhaar card, Fatima claimed. They went to a doctor, who prescribed painkillers and advised Dar to get an X-ray done of his head. “We are scared. We did not eat and sat up through the night,” Fatima said.—KMS

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