Kashmiri Terrorists Assassinate Mediapersons in Srinagar

The gruesome murder of freelance journalist, Saidan Shafi, and television programme producer, Tariq Ahmad, within a space of less than a month, has spread terror amongst mediapersons in Kashmir. Pakistani terrorists agents are trying to prove that they still can pick out soft targets and force Kashmiris to toe their line.

The gruesome murder (Srinagar, March 16, 1997) of freelance journalist Saidan Shafi by Pakistani terrorist agents has prevented honest reflection of the Kashmiris plight. This has led credence to the view that the militants are out to throttle voice of the people against the misdeeds and atrocities perpetrated by them. It also exposes the designs of militants and their mentors who often cry hoarse about human rights abuses and the freedom of speech. Certainly, indulgence in shameless and barbaric acts is unacceptable to a civilised society and these demonstrate desperation of the militants owing to the difficulty faced by them in enlisting public support. It also serves as an eye opener for those who sympathise and support militant activities.

It is well known that Saidan Shafi was a T.V journalist presently working as a special correspondent and videographer for T.V News Magazine "Ankhon Dekhi". The forty years old Saidan Shafi had earlier also working as a correspondent for the serial "Kashmir file". Coming from a modest background, the deceased was the son of a retired Police Inspector who was serving as a block Development Officer till 1992-93 and had taken unto himself the role of highlighting the Kashmiris plight due to ongoing militancy. He was known for his unbiased and fearless reporting which ultimately cost him his life at the hands of unprincipled criminals.

Death List

Over the past seven years, militants have killed as many as twelve well known journalists and personalities connected with the media besides Saidan Shafi and Tariq Ahmad.

Mediapersons Assassinated by Terrorists in Kashmir
Lassa Koul Station Director, AIR, Srinagar February 19, 1990
P.N.Handoo Asstt.Director, Information Dept. March 1, 1990
Kh. Mohd. Shahban Vakil Editor, Alsafa April 23,1991
Syed Ghulam Nabi Jt. Director, State Information Dept. Oct.30, 1992
Mohd. Shafi Bhat @ Farhad Casual Newsreader AIR Srinagar Oct 2,1993
Ghulam Mohd. Lone Freelance Journalist Aug. 29/30.1994
Mushtag Ali Press Photographer Sept. 1, 1995
Sheikh Ghulam Rasool Azad Editor, Saffron Times June, 1996
Farooq Ahmed Faktoo Casual newscaster Doordarshan, Srinagar Jan. 1, 1997
Altaf Ahmad Doordrashan announcer 1997
Saidan Shafi Freelance journalist March 16, 1997
Tariq Ahmad Private television producer April 8, 1997

It is not only that these people have been victims of militant's fury. There have been instances where many other journalists/mediapersons have been chosen for specific attacks/vain bids on their lives like the ones involving Yusuf Jameel (BBC Correspondent) and Habibullah Naqash (UNI Correspondent) both on Sept. 7,1995 and Zaffar Mehraj Zee T.V Correspondent-Dec. 8,1995.

Another TV Producer Shot Dead

Srinagar. APR 8 (UNI): A private producer working for Doordarshan Tariq Ahmad was shot dead by gunmen in the downtown area this morning. Official sources said the bullet-riddled body of Tariq Ahmad, who has made several programmes for Doordarshan was recovered from the Soura area this morning. Mr Ahmad is the third person associated with the electronic media to be killed in the Valley this year. Earlier gunmen killed Altaf Ahmad, a local Doordarshan announcer and Mr Saidan Shafi, correspondent "Ankhon-Dekhi"

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