Two Kashmiri photojournalists Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan, and Channi Anand from Jammu have been awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the brutal crackdown on Kashmir last August.
The award was given to the Associated Press journalists from J&K under the ‘Feature Photography’ category.
— The Pulitzer Prizes (@PulitzerPrizes) May 4, 2020
In August last year, the state of Jammu & Kashmir was placed under a lockdown, when the Indian government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted the state a special status, and downgraded it into two union territories.
The government’s announcements were followed by a heavy security clampdown, a communications blackout and large-scale arrests and detentions in the state, triggering outrage from across the world.
The unprecedented crackdown, which was the longest in any democracy was difficult to show the world.
“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 honoured with the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in feature photography,” the news agency announced.
“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 travellers to carry the photo files out with them and get them to the AP’s office in New Delhi.”
Pulitzer is widely considered as the world’s most prestigious award for journalism. The awards ceremony was live-streamed on YouTube due to the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.
Both Dar Yasin and Mukhtar Khan took to Twitter to express their happiness on the award.
Thank you Colleagues, friends, brothers. I would just like to say thank you for standing by us always. It’s an honour and a privilege beyond any we could have ever imagined. It’s overwhelming to receive this honor.
— Dar Yasin (@daryasin) May 4, 2020
Dear colleagues and friends I just want to say Thank you and that this award @PulitzerPrizes an honor for us. I could never have imagine in my life time. it could have also been impossible without my family – both at home and AP Thank you for always sanding by us.
— mukhtar khan (@muukhtark_khan) May 4, 2020
“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.”