Kamran Yusuf Not A “Real Journalist” As He Did Not Cover Development Activities Of Govt, Says NIA
February 16th, 2018
A “real journalist” should cover development activities by the government, inaugurations of hospitals and schools, and statements of ruling parties, suggest a charge sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency in January. The agency cited the lack of these to say that Kamran Yusuf of the Kashmir Valley was not a “real journalist”, reported The Indian Express.
The Charge sheet
These were the observations in the charge sheet regarding terror funding and stone pelting in the Kashmir valley on January 18 against 12 people that included Kamran Yusuf, a freelance photojournalist.
In the charge sheet, the NIA listed the “moral duty of a journalist” and observed: “Had he been a real journalist/stringer by profession, he may have performed one of the moral duty of a journalist which is to cover the activities and happening (good or bad) in his jurisdiction. He had never covered any developmental activity of any Government Department/Agency, any inauguration of Hospital, School Building, Road, Bridge, statement of a political party in power or any other social/developmental activity by the state government or Govt of India,” reports The Indian Express.
The charge sheet also mentions social work by the Army and para-military forces in the Valley such as organising “blood-donation camps, free medical check-up, skill development program or Iftar party” among others. “Kamran Yusuf had hardly taken any video of such activity and video or image of any such activity can rarely be seen in his laptop or mobile which clearly show his intention to only cover the activities which are anti-national and earn money against such footages,” said the charge sheet.
After going through the photos and videos, the NIA decided that he only takes pictures of “anti-national activities” and sells it to local media. During his bail arguments, his lawyer said that they have pictures to prove that was a “real journalist” as per NIA’s definition.
Kamran Yusuf, a local photojournalist from Pulwama was arrested by the NIA on charges of stone pelting.
Yusuf was disliked by the police and politicians for his job as was the first to reach any encounter sites, click videos and photos and upload them online, said his uncle. He also contributed heavily to Kashmir’s leading daily, Greater Kashmir.
Although, when the news of his arrest came forward, Greater Kashmir disowned him. Other journalists have protested against this decision. Junaid Bhat, Greater Kashmir’s photographer in north Kashmir, publicly dissociated himself from the newspaper on Facebook. Many other local journalists showed their solidarity with Kamran.