The world’s largest democracy is witnessing a truculent suppression of the voice of Kashmiri journalists.

Kashmiri journalist Aakash Hassan. | @AakashHassan/Twitter

The immigration authorities at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) stopped a freelance Kashmiri journalist Aakash Hassan from traveling overseas

By Mohd Zuber

The curbing of the rights of Kashmiri and other muslim journalists is increasing every day. In recent times we have seen many journalists being detained or arrested under draconian laws like UAPA 1996 and Jammu and Kashmir public safety Act 1978.

In yet another case of high-handedness against journalists, the authorities at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) stopped a freelance journalist Aakash Hassan (Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir ) from traveling overseas.

The officials did not give any specific reasons for not allowing Hassan to board the international flight.

This is not the first case of journalists being detained just before their flights overseas as last month, another Kashmiri journalist was barred from leaving the country, Sana Irshad Mattoo, a 28-year old Pulitzer winning Kashmiri photojournalist from Srinagar who was denied to fly abroad for a photography exhibition last month and the suppression is still going on.

Aakash Hassan @AakashHassan a freelance  Kashmiri journalist was scheduled to travel to Sri Lanka from the IGI airport, for reporting on the severe economic crisis, the island nation is facing.

However, Hassan’s passport and boarding pass was taken away by immigration officials around 3:45 pm and he was asked to sit in a room for around four hours.

Hassan said, A staff from the airlines I was traveling in told me that officials have directed them to offload my luggage from the aircraft,Hassan said that two officials (Unrecognised) enquired about his background and his travel purpose to Sri Lanka.

His luggage was offloaded from the airlines under the direction of officials, who did not give any reason for this action.

“After making me wait for about four hours, without providing even water to drink, I have been handed over my passport and boarding pass with a red rejection stamp”, Hassan was quoted as saying.

The rejection stamp read as “Cancelled Without Prejudice”.

 

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