Srinagar, Mar 14: Arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), on 5 September 2017, the photojournalist of south Kashmir Kamran Yousuf was Wednesday from Delhi Jail. The development comes days after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti sought the intervention of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for the release of photojournalist Kamran Yousuf following a local court on Monday had granted him bail.
“Spoke to Home Minister @rajnathsingh ji to look into Kamran Yousuf’s case. I’ve requested him to intervene so that the life of a young budding journalist doesn’t get ruined,” Chief Minister Mufti tweeted on Sunday.
Photojournalist Kamran Yousuf, was detained without charge by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in September 2017 and was booked by the agency on January 18 in a charge sheet brought against. Listed as a “stone-pelter” in the 1,279-page chargesheet, among 11 other persons from Kashmir, he is accused of “conspiring to wage war against the Government of India” by carrying out “terrorist and secessionist activities” in Jammu and Kashmir.
In its charge sheet against Kamran, the NIA had said he is not a ‘real journalist’ because he didn’t cover “any developmental activity of any Government Department/Agency, any inauguration of Hospital, School Building, Road, Bridge, statement of political party in power or any other social/developmental activity by state government or Govt of India.”
Soon after the CM’s tweet, a Delhi court had granted bail to Kamran, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in an alleged funding case six months ago.
Additional Sessions Judge Tarun Sherawat allowed the bail plea of Yousuf, asking him to furnish two sureties of Rs 50,000.
MOpposing the bail plea, the NIA had said some witnesses had confirmed that Yousuf was shouting “anti-national slogans” and was seen “stone pelting”.
International human rights and journalism bodies have also sought immediate release of the photojournalist. The Committee to Protect Journalists urged central government and NIA to “immediately drop charges” against Kamran and called for his release him.
Pertinent to mention here, soon after the arrest of Kamran Yousuf several local newspapers, Kamran used to work, disowned him with the reasons known to them only. (KNB)