Greater Kashmir removes 'GK' from 'lensman', he becomes a stone-pelter?


Photojournalist Kamran Yousuf
Photojournalist Kamran Yousuf was contributing photographs and videos to The Daily Greater Kashmir but after he was arrested by NIA on 5th September, there has been no word from GK on this issue.

What the newspaper did the following day is just pathetic. The following news story was published on Page 03 of the newspaper which speaks volumes about GK's concern for its contributing member.

GK's news story regarding Kamran Yousuf published on Page 03 of the newspaper
The shame does not stop here. Infact, the newspaper even edited a previously published story which was initially titled as "Cops thrash GK lensman" but was changed to "Cops thrash lensman in Pulwama".

While the news organisation was non-hesitant to use his work during the times when he reached encounter sites or covered the clashes between security forces and youth, they have preferred a radio silence on his detention.

NIA is no less than a Gabbar Singh when a leading daily tries to save its corporation from unwanted attention of the 'investigating agency'.

The following proof is clear to establish the fact that GK doesn't give a damn about its field staff who risk their lives to cover the conflict in Kashmir.

The proof is that the newspaper edited the title of a story on 06 September, 2017. The story about Kamran was originally published on 04 March, 2017 with the title "Cops thrash GK lensman". The title now reads, "Cops thrash lensman in Pulwama".

The screenshot for this story when searched on Google clearly shows that the story was published on March 04, 2017 with the title suggesting that The Daily Greater Kashmir owns this lensman and condemns his beating by the security forces.

Cops thrash GK lensman - Kamran Yousuf
When we click on this search result and visit the page, we see a different headline altogether.

Greater Kashmir removes 'GK' from 'lensman' in the title of this story.

We land on a page that disowns the photojournalist! We read a story about the thrashing of a 'freelance' photojournalist!

Cops thrash lensman in Pulwama
The webpage address (URL) now throws up a blank page as the story has been removed/deleted. But the e-Paper featuring the story is intact and is available HERE.

However, there is one more story featuring the photograph shot by this 'freelancer' that GK needs to edit. I have provided the screenshot HERE. Come on GK, strip "Greater Kashmir" from "lensman Kamran Yousuf" in this story as well to leave him as a 'freelancer' or even as a 'stone-pelter'! Be quick, otherwise Gabbar will come!

If the newspaper that featured his work doesn't stand up in his support, then who will?

Oh! I forgot that even newspapers are banned by the authorities in Kashmir. Remember, Kashmir Reader was banned for months together for their reportage of incidents that happened in bloody summer of 2016.

The ban, however, seemed to produce a good response as it led to the formation of Kashmir Editors’ Guild, established to create a new union of prominent editors of Kashmir’s newspapers. It was KEG's support that put pressure on the government to remove ban on the publication of the newspaper.

In the case of young Kamran Yousuf, there has hardly been a statement from KEG. But why should KEG come out with a statement when it is headed by Fayaz Ahmad Kaloo as its president who is the chief editor of Greater Kashmir!

A protest demonstration was called to protest Yousuf’s detention but it was attended by a very few people at the Press Colony in Srinagar. Most of the protesters that showed up at the venue were his friends from his hometown.

It really hurts when we read about Kamran on propanganda monger portals like Times of India according to whom Kamran Yousuf "was known to be operating a WhatsApp Group from South Kashmir to orchestrate and spread violence across Kashmir valley."

TOI's pandora box of lies goes on, "Kamran studied up to class 11 and gave up studies to join 'anti-India movement' through newspapers and by using social media," quoting 'a police officer'.

The absurd reason for Kamran "to join anti-India movement" that TOI seems to suggest is that "Kamran is from a broken family and son of a single mother. His parents were divorced."

The plain truth is that Kamran Yousuf is a photojournalist whose work has appeared in local Kashmiri newspapers and international publications as well. He has emerged as one of the best photojournalists from the new talent.

He has been contributing photographs and videos for the last five years now. He is presently a stringer with Greater Kashmir and Gulistan News channel. He had even pasted GK logo on his laptop with the passion to work as a full-time photo-journalist with the newspaper.

When I leave in the morning for doing my professional duties, I am not sure if I will return home safe in the evening," Kamran was quoted by With Kashmir recently in an article titled "9 Emerging Photographers From Kashmir".

He has been one of the first photojournalists to cover funerals of militants in south Kashmir where other militants would show up. "Covering such a gathering is very tough. I reluctantly take pictures keeping my safety as the priority,” Kamran is quoted in the article.

Kamran has been abused and beaten many times by security forces while doing his job. There have been times also when the local people in Pulwama have labelled him as an agent working for the police and blamed him for arrests of many boys.

Despite all the hardships, Kamran continued to cover the clashes and subsequent violence from South Kashmir. But NIA arrested him now? How could one believe it even!

"A few years ago, Al Jazeera and later VICE News had their journalists and stingers detained by various governments. Instead of leaving their journalists to their fate, they stood by them. In fact, it was only due to the pressure created by the news-organisations, the journalists were later freed by the authorities," reads an article on With Kashmir.

A shameful silence is being observed by Kashmir’s news media over his detention. The journalist community must stand together in complete solidarity because journalism is not a crime!

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  1. We should stop buying Greater Kashmir news paper as protest

  2. posting a story from 'With Kashmir' and claiming it be your own blog/story in which GK is not owning up its own photojournalist. Irony!! Kudos to you.

    1. The story has been reproduced by With Kashmir after it was published on my blog!


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