Srinagar journalist barred from meeting family

Srinagar, July 8 (Calcutta Tube) A journalist whose wife and two daughters fainted after teargas seeped into their house has been prevented from meeting them for two days after curfew passes were declared invalid.

Izhar Wani of the French news agency AFP has been desperate to get home to meet his wife and daughters Saira, 10, and Saba, 6.

All three were alone at their home in Sringar’s Sunwar area when a teargas shell burst with a loud bang on their front lawn Tuesday. Before they could realise what happened, the gas seeped into the house.

The mother and daughters lose consciousness in no time.

Neighbours who rushed to their rescue quickly got in touch with Wani’s elderly father, who was in a Sufi shrine some 40 km away. He phoned Wani, who tried to reach home.

But when he left the AFP office, security personnel on the streets tore his curfew pass, saying they were no longer valid.

Wani, 40, told IANS: ‘I have been trying my best to go home since then but I have failed. I have never seen anything like this before.’

On Wednesday, security forces disallowed a group of reporters from moving out of their office in Press Enclave in the heart of Srinagar, which has been under curfew since Tuesday afternoon following over violent protests over civilian killings by security forces.

When the journalists insisted, the security forces snatched their cameras and tore their curfew passes.

Bashir Manzar, who edits an English daily in Srinagar, alleged that the government was preventing the media from discharging its professional duty.

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