‘Bullets were flying over our heads’
Journalists covering the Jajjar Kotli gunfight said that they had a narrow escape while they were performing their duty.
They said a militant fired indiscriminately towards a house wherefrom they covering the encounter.
Though the militant was killed later on, the eyewitnesses said, the security forces, locals and media were caught unaware as he fired from maize fields nearby.
Sharing details, senior editor of Times Now in Jammu, Pardeep Dutta told Rising Kashmir that, “ Bullets were flying over our heads while they were covering the incident. The villagers and media persons laid on the ground when the bullets were flying over our heads for half an hour.”
“We (media) give news at all costs, come what may. Circumstances are very difficult. Even when bullets were being fired, we ensured we disseminate news to our channels.”
Describing the attack, Ajay Jandyal, senior journalist working with national channel said, “ It was for the first time I witnessed death from very close range. We all have escaped astonishingly. It is the part of our profession to report the incident but danger attached with profession is also a known fact.”
A young journalist, Gursimran Singh “The security forces had not sanitized the area properly before allowing media persons to the spot. When the media persons reached the spot the third hiding militant opened fire. The cordon was loose.”
“We are thankful to 9 Para Commandos of Indian Army for their timely retaliation and killing of third militant. Otherwise, there would have been casualties,” said Singh, who is editor of an online news portal, Universal Time Line (UTI).
Another journalist, Shahnawaz Khan said that he was about to leave the area when third militant was trying to come out of the maze fields and opened indiscriminate fire. “God saved us all,” Khan said.
Pertinently, Ashok Sodhi, a known photojournalist also lost his life in such an encounter when he was covering the militant attack in Samba in 2008.