A special court on Monday granted bail to Kashmir photojournalist Kamran Yousuf, who was in jail for the last six months, allegedly for stone pelting and indulging in “subversive activities”. Additional Sessions Judge Tarun Sherawat granted him bail on two sureties of Rs 50,000 each.
Yousuf was in custody since September 5 after the NIA alleged that he was in “regular touch with anti-national elements” and that his work as a photojournalist was a front to “cover up his actual subversive activities”. The bail came after more than 18 hearings.
NIA’s main argument was that Yousuf was found in spots where stone-pelting happened. The defence had argued he was present at the spots as he was a “bonafide journalist” and was doing his job. In the chargesheet, NIA had said, “Had he been a real journalist/stringer by profession, he may have performed one of the moral duty of a journalist which is to cover the activities and happening (good or bad) in his jurisdiction. He had never covered any development 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.”
Responding to the court ruling, Kamran’s uncle Irshad Ahmad Ganai said, “We were saying all along that he is innocent. It (the court’s decision) has vindicated us”.