Associated Press photographers Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan, and Channi Anand have been honored with the Pulitzer Prize in feature photography. The award was bestowed on them for covering the status in Jammu & Kashmir after the erstwhile state lost its statehood on August 05, 2019.
The unprecedented abrogation of Article 370 in the disputed Himalayan region was difficult to be covered owing to the extensive curfew and the shutdown of all communication channels. The Pulitzer board administrator Danna Canedy announced the list of winners through a YouTube live-stream rather than the usual prestigious ceremony at Columbia University.
The Muslim-majority territory has been a center of conflict between the nuclear powers India and Pakistan for decades. The major upheaval came last August when the Indian Parliament passed a resolution to revoke the special status of semi-autonomy granted to the state and divided it into two Union Territories.
To counter the protests, Indian troops were heavily deployed into the already militarized area and communications were called off. Thousands of people and prominent politicians were put under house arrest. The award was “For striking images of life in the contested territory of Kashmir as India revoked its independence, executed through a communications blackout”, it said on the Pulitzer Prize website.
This comes as a silver lining amidst the disheartening news of India’s 142nd rank on the World Press Freedom Index out of 180 countries.
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