Kashmir's pellet victims stage protest in Srinagar
Kashmir's pellet victims stage protest in SrinagarFacebook

Four photojournalists were injured after the security forces allegedly fired pellets at them while they were covering an encounter in the Shirmal area of Shopian district in South Kashmir on Tuesday. 

The four photojournalists were Hindustan Times' Waseem Andrabi,  Nisar-ul-Haq of local daily, Rising Kashmir, Junaid Gulzar of Kashmir Essence and Mir Burhan of ANN.

Two among us were wearing vests which has a PRESS sticker clearly on it. Still, the security men fired indiscriminately

Waseem is the recepient of the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award for his reportage of the protests and curfew in the valley that followed the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in 2016.

He reportedly received the pellet on his hands and face, but others may have eye injuries too, a source told the International Business Times, India, The incident occured when the locals clashed with the security forces after the encounter got over. 

The security forces used pellet guns to disperse the crowd, but the photojournalists claimed that they were attacked by the Central Reserve Police Forces personnel despite showing them heir cameras.

"Two among us were wearing vests which has a PRESS sticker clearly on it. Still, the security men fired indiscriminately," Waseem told the Kashmir Walla.

The incident has sparked widespread condemnation from the leaders and the journalist fraternity in the valley.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah called the incident as unfortunate and said that firing indiscriminately at the crowd by the security forces will always be counter productive.

IPS officer's brother among militants

Journalists based in valley and elsewhere, while wishing their injured colleagues speedy recovery, condemned the act as inhumane. 

The encounter earlier ended with the killing of three militants including the brother of an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer who is posted in North-east India. The Army and Special Operation Group, J&K Police, earlier acted on a tip-off and cordoned off an orchard in Heff, Shirmal area of Shopian district, where at least four militants were hiding. Although one reportedly fled, the three were killed in the encounter in which a soldier also sustained injuries.