IOK journalists in Delhi raise money for Kamran’s bail bond

Srinagar, March 15, 2018 (PPI-OT): Kashmiri journalists working in Delhi and one based in Doha joined hands to raise money needed for the surety bond for the release of illegally detained Kashmiri photojournalist, Kamran Yousuf, on bail. Thirty four Kashmiri journalists working in Delhi and one based in Doha came together to raise Rs 50,000 for the surety bond for Kamran Yousuf.

Kamran is in Delhi’s infamous Tihar Jail since September 5 after his arrest by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) from his home in Tahab, Pulwama district. A Delhi court granted bail to him on Tuesday, dismissing the NIA’s claims that he was involved in stone-pelting and subversive activities in occupied Kashmir and granted him bail on two surety bonds of Rs 50,000 each.

“One of the bonds was taken care of by someone, but the other was still left to be paid,” a Kashmiri journalist based in Delhi said. He said that it was just a matter of fifteen minutes that this other bond was taken care of, by the fraternity of Kashmiri journalists in Delhi that immediately came together to do the needful.

“First a few photojournalists working here came forward and offered the receipts of their professional equipment as surety,” another Kashmiri journalist said. The court, however, did not accept the receipt of their equipment as surety, saying that the surety needed to be “registered”, he said.

“We have a loose association of about a hundred Kashmiri journalists working in Delhi. A few phone calls to some journalists ensured that the money was raised in no time,” he added. He maintained that 35 journalists contributed money, including one presently working in Doha, for a fixed deposit to serve as surety bond.

“It was indeed a heart-warming gesture, done purely on the basis of professional solidarity for one among us from Kashmir,” another journalist said. The gesture was praised back home as well, with some stringers saying they feel a sense of protection, howsoever small.

“The way Kamran was disowned by the very people he put his life on line for, has made us wary and uncertain in so many ways,” a stringer based in south Kashmir said. He said that the gesture by journalists working in Delhi will go a long way in reinstating Kamran’s and others’ faith in the work they do. Kamran Yousuf is expected to arrive home on Friday after completing the legal formalities in Delhi.

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