Srinagar: Senior government officials have said the Kashmiri journalist who had been arrested by the Army and CRPF Wednesday night was let off at 10 pm Thursday. But they refused to divulge any details about why he was arrested in the first place.
The family of the 26-year-old journalist Irfan Amin had walked in to the Media Facilitation Centre set up by the authorities Thursday and claimed that their son was picked up by security forces Wednesday night.
Irfan, who works for Greater Kashmir, is a resident of Tral in south Kashmir and was at home when the security forces took him into custody, the family said.
When asked by the media about Irfan’s arrest Thursday evening, government spokesperson Rohit Kansal had merely said, “we will inform you”, without elaborating further.
“They came at 11:30 pm last night and picked him up. It was as if they had come to arrest a militant. He is a journalist,” said Irfan’s mother Haseena. She said the security forces included CRPF and Army personnel.
“They knocked on the door and asked for Irfan. He was bundled into a vehicle,” the mother said, adding that she tried to follow the vehicle but in vain.
The family checked with the local police station late Wednesday but didn’t receive any information until Thursday morning.
“This morning I met him… he was too scared. He kept on asking me why he had been arrested,” Haseena said.
Irfan’s father, Amin Malik, a government employee, added: “When we reached the police station, SP Tahir Saleem asked me if he had done any story. We told him the newspapers have been closed so how could he. He responded that there is nothing to worry about… he will be released.”
The family also went to the paper’s main office in Lal Chowk, which was shut following the communication blackout on 4 August.
When ThePrint approached the police for a comment, they said they would “have to find out”.
This report has been updated to reflect the release of Irfan Amin Thursday night.