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2020 Pulitzer Prize : 3 Indian Photojournalists Win Pulitzer Prize for Capturing Kashmir During Lockdown

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2020 Pulitzer Prize | By Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The story of India’s crackdown on Kashmir last August was difficult to show to the world. The unprecedented lockdown included a sweeping curfew and shutdowns of phone and internet service.

2020 Pulitzer Prize

2020 pulitzer prize
Kashmiri Muslim devotees offer prayer outside the shrine of Sufi saint Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Dec. 9, 2019. Hundreds of devotees gathered at the shrine for the 11-day festival that marks the death anniversary of the Sufi saint. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)
Kashmiri villagers grieve near the body of an 11-year-old boy, Aatif Mir, during his funeral procession in Hajin village, north of Srinagar Indian controlled Kashmir, March 22, 2019. Indian security forces killed five militants and the 11-year-old hostage in three separate clashes in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

But Associated Press photographers Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan and Channi Anand found ways to let outsiders see what was happening. Now, their work has been honored with the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in feature photography.

A Kashmiri man walks on a snow covered footbridge as it snows in the interiors of Dal Lake in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Dec. 13, 2019. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

Snaking around roadblocks, sometimes taking cover in strangers’ homes and hiding cameras in vegetable bags, the three photographers captured images of protests, police and paramilitary action and daily life — and then headed to an airport to persuade travelers to carry the photo files out with them and get them to the AP’s office in New Delhi.

2020 pulitzer prize
A wounded woman is carried on a stretcher for treatment after she was injured in a bus accident, at a local hospital in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, June 27, 2019. A minibus carrying students to a picnic fell into a gorge along a Himalayan road in Indian-controlled Kashmir, killing more than 10 and injuring several others. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

“It was always cat-and-mouse,” Yasin recalled Monday. “These things made us more determined than ever to never be silenced.”

Anand said the award left him speechless.

“I was shocked and could not believe it,” he said, calling the prize-winning photos a continuation of the work he’s been doing for 20 years with the AP.

2020 pulitzer prize
An elderly Kashmiri man sits outside a closed market during a strike in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Feb. 17, 2019. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

“This honor continues AP’s great tradition of award-winning photography,” said AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt. “Thanks to the team inside Kashmir, the world was able to witness a dramatic escalation of the long struggle over the region’s independence. Their work was important and superb.”

2020 pulitzer prize
An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard as Kashmiri Muslims offer Friday prayers on a street outside a local mosque during curfew like restrictions in Srinagar, India, Aug. 16, 2019. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)
2020 pulitzer prize
Kashmiri men shout freedom slogans during a protest against New Delhi’s tightened grip on the disputed region, after Friday prayers on the outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Aug. 23, 2019. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
Flames and smoke billow from a residential building where militants are suspected to have taken refuge during a gun battle in Pulwama, south of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Feb. 18, 2019. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

AP Executive Editor Sally Buzbee called the Kashmir prize “a testament to the skill, bravery, ingenuity and teamwork of Dar, Mukhtar, Channi and their colleagues” and lauded Chery’s and Blackwell’s “brave and arresting work” in Haiti while many journalism outlets were focused elsewhere.

2020 Pulitzer Prize
A masked Kashmiri protester attacks an armoured vehicle of Indian police during a protest in Srinagar. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (Image: AP)

The honor for the photographers is the AP’s 54th Pulitzer Prize. The news cooperative last won a Pulitzer last year for stories, photos and video on the conflict in Yemen and the ensuing humanitarian crisis.

2020 Pulitzer Prize
Six-year-old Muneefa Nazir, a Kashmiri girl whose right eye was hit by a marble ball shot allegedly by Paramilitary soldiers stands outside her home in Srinagar. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (Image: AP)

Conflict has flared for decades in Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan area that is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both.

2020 Pulitzer Prize
Kashmiri men dismantle a portion of a house destroyed in a gunbattle in Tral village, south of Srinagar. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (Image: AP)

The tension hit a new turning point in August, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government stripped Indian-controlled portions of Kashmir of their semi-autonomy.

2020 Pulitzer Prize
Paramilitary soldiers break motorbikes parked outside a college as they clash with students protesting against the alleged rape of a 3-year-old girl in Srinagar. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (Image: AP)

India poured more troops into the already heavily militarized area, imposed a curfew and harsh curbs on civil rights, laced the area with razor-wire roadblocks, and cut off internet, cellphone, landline and cable TV service in the region.

2020 Pulitzer Prize
Paramilitary soldier orders a Kashmiri to open his jacket before frisking him during curfew in Srinagar. The beautiful Himalayan valley is flooded with soldiers and roadblocks of razor wire. The image was part of a series of photographs by Associated Press photographers which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. (Image: AP)

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India

Coronavirus: First two flights of evacuated Indians will fly to Kerala

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Contact details for Indians with queries on repatriation flights
Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra: 80046342 (Toll Free)
Embassy: Covid-19 helpline: +971-508995583
Email: help.abudhabi@mea.gov.in
Consulate: Covid-19 helplines: +971-565463903, 543090575
Email: cons2.dubai@mea.gov.in

First two flights of evacuated Indians will fly to Kerala
Reuters

The Indian government on Monday announced that evacuation of Indians stranded in various countries would begin from Thursday. The Indian consulate in Dubai announced later on Monday that two special flights—Abu Dhabi to Kochi and Dubai to Kozhikode—would take off on Thursday with NRIs wanting to go home.

The Indian mission’s statement on who would foot the bill for the flights is already worrying passengers. “The cost of the tickets and other conditions, for travel including quarantine requirements after reaching India, and health requirements to board the flight will be conveyed in due course and will have to be accepted by each passenger,” the Indian mission said. The condition of NRIs needing to pay for their evacuation tickets has already caused heartburn, as thousands of expatriates in the Gulf have lost their jobs due to economic disruption caused by COVID-19.

Now, a media report in the UAE is expected to add to the woes of the stranded NRIs. Gulf News, a publication in Dubai, reported on Tuesday that air fare for the special evacuation flights could be twice the normal fare during May.

“A one-way repatriation ticket to Delhi will cost approximately Dh1,400-Dh1,650—this would earlier have cost between Dh600-Dh700 [during these months]. A one-way repatriation flight ticket to Kerala would cost approximately Dh1,900-Dh2,300,” Jamal Abdulnazar, CEO of Cozmo Travel, told Gulf News. One UAE Dirham is equivalent to Rs 20.58. To put things in perspective, a stranded NRI would have to pay up to Rs 33,950 to travel to Delhi and up to Rs 47,300 to travel to Kerala.

Gulf News added that Indian missions in the UAE are already reaching out to the NRIs. “Sources said that officials in Indian diplomatic missions have already initiated calls to some expats, telling them about likely ticket fares and inquiring about their willingness to travel,” Gulf News added. The publication added that many NRIs may decide to back out of choosing the repatriation flights.

Abdulnazar noted that the rationale behind the heightened costs is social distancing norms. Airlines are unlikely to fly at their maximum capacity to reduce risk of COVID-19. The situation is made worse by the fact that the Indian government has yet to officially tap private operators in the country for the evacuation efforts. As of now, only Air India and the Indian Air Force and Navy would be involved in evacuating NRIs.

Interestingly, carriers in the UAE have announced their willingness to aid in evacuation efforts.

“UAE’s Emirates airline, Etihad, flydubai and Air Arabia are likely to also operate repatriation flights to India after Air India implements the first phase of services,” Gulf News reported.

Some media groups in India have reported that fare from Dubai to destinations in Kerala could be around Rs 13,000. Moreover, the possibility of the government intervening to cut fares cannot be ruled out.

source : Gulfnews

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