Kashmiri photojournalist turns a symbol of hope, saves injured girl

In Image first, Syrian photographer Abd Alkader Habak, carrying a young boy in his arms and running to safety to escape bombing. In Image second, Kashmiri photographer Dar Yasin, carrying an injured girl in his arms to hospital.

SRINAGAR: The work of newsmen is not easy, but it becomes more challenging when you are gathering news in trouble torn Kashmir Valley.  It is the person associated with media who ran towards the scene of happening, when everybody is running away from the scene for seeking shelter to save their lives.

Most of times, these newsmen are the only hope for troubled people who may be injured, battling for life or caught in crossfire, with no hope for immediate help around.

On April 20, when Srinagar city of Kashmir Valley turned into a battle zone after scores of students’ clashes with security forces intensely, a photo of a photojournalist, Dar Yasin running with the severally injured girl in his arm, trying to help her, appears. The photograph went viral in no minutes, drew praise for him all over, besides proving newsmen as a symbol of hope in the troubled time.

AP photojournalist Dar Yasin rushes to a hospital with Khusboo, a Kashmir girl who was injured in stone pelting in Srinagar. (Photo courtesy Faisal Khan.)

Many were comparing Yasin with Syrian photographer Abd Alkader Habak, who was capture picking up a young boy in his arms and running to safety to escape bombing. Like Syrian photographer’s image while helping victim, Yasin’s move won hearts of millions across the globe.

Yasin, 43, is a staff photographer with the Associated Press in Srinagar and has been covering the Kashmir conflict since 2002. According to reports, that day, Khusboo, a Class 12 student was part of the students protest in Srinagar against the alleged highhandedness by security forces in a college situated in Pulwama district of Kahsmir, when a stone hit her on the forehead. With blood oozing out of her forehead, her friends panicked, finding no one around to help.

It was Yasin who decided to set aside his duty as a media person.  He picked up Khushboo in his arms and ran to get her in a car to the hospital. The image of Yasin running with Khushboo was capture by another Srinagar-based photojournalist Faisal Khan.

A Srinagar based senior journalist, Athar Parvaiz , tweets immediately after Yasin’s photo while helping injured girl appears on social media, “These two images tell us why we should salute Kashmir’s @daryasin and Syria’s @AbdHabak , who put down their cameras and helped victims”.  Athar Parvaiz posts photo of Kashmir’s Yasin and Syria’s Habak to appreciate their decision while discharging their professional duty.

Yasin who is father of two daughters, according to media reports have told Khushboo’s friends that they should not worry, she is just like his daughters. Interestingly, Yasin’s quick decision arrived girl to the hospital in time to get treated and she is stable now.

While talking about the incident and what went on his mind when he saw the girl and decided to help her, Yasin as quoted by HT said, “It is human nature. You can’t leave a wounded person like that. If you are the father of two girls, or if you are a father of any child, you cannot just see anyone’s child suffer helplessly like that. When I realised there was no one to help, I just decided to help.” He said, while looking back he feels happy that he helped her adding that pictures will keep coming.

Irfan Quraishi is a Srinagar based Broadcast & Multimedia journalist in Kashmir. He has previously worked as Bureau Chief for Day & Night News and as Correspondent for Kashmir Times. He had been a fellow of Thomson Reuters Foundation London and RNTC Europe.