Meet the conflict photographers telling battlefront tales of Kashmir’s children

They have been roughed up, put behind bars, had their equipment snatched away, pelted by stones, manhandled, admitted to hospital, while some even died – all this, because they chose to be a conflict photographer. Kashmir has always been a difficult place to cover, not only because of the chaos and violence, but the suffering and emotion that goes with being an integral part of an ongoing conflict, through one’s viewfinder. Yet, the only way to tell the Kashmir story, really tell it, is to be on the ground with the its people, and children, central to the narration. As the conflict in Kashmir reaches newer levels of disorder and violence, here are 13 frontline documenters and long time storytellers who continue to cover conflict in Kashmir and bring us stories of children from the battlefront. Every frame is stripped bare of artifice, making a compelling statement. For intrepid photographers such as these, conflict photography is as real as it gets.

1. Showkatnanda

This is a series from one of my long-term projects, “PUSHED INTO DARKNESS”, on the hidden lives of Kashmir’s teenage stone-throwers. It was published by The Washington Post earlier this year under the name, “The dissenters: Kashmir’s teenage stone throwers hit a nerve in territory dispute.” Musaib, a 13-year-old Kashmiri boy masks himself as he prepares to throw stones at government forces. Many young boys use the ‘Palestinian scarf’ called Keffiyeh to mask their faces during protests and clashes to conceal their identity.(2010) #kashmir #kashmirprotests #kashmirconflict #teenagers #stonethrowers #protests #indianrule #clashes #hiddenlives #masked #documentaryphotography #photojournalism #storytelling #reuters #washpostphoto #gettyimages #instagram #zuma

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2. Umar Meraj

3. Javed Dar

4. Mukhtar Khan

5. Sameer Mushtaq

#ChildrenofConflict More than 15% of these children live in orphanages. Before 1990 most orphans were rehabilitated within extended families and adopted by relatives without any financial help from the State.  Due to the ongoing conflict, the number of orphans increased exponentially and families struggled to take care. Some had no extended families, some families were too poor to look after their relative’s children and others worried about their safety at home.  The traditional role of society towards orphans started changing and various Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) took over the role of extended families and homes got substituted by orphanages. #orphan #orphanage #humaninterest #ramdan #kashmir #conflict #kashmir #orphansinkashmir #india #child #orphanboys #kulgam #baitulhilal #yateemtrust @apdpkashmir ©Sameer Mushtaq

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6. Daryasinap

7. Abid Bhat

8. Syed Shahriyar

A Kashmiri boy wearing a mask Shouts Anti-India slogans during a Pro-freedom Demonstration  in old city Srinagar on July 31, 2016 , Against the killing of  more than 50 people and thousands injured by Indian Armed forces in Kashmir. Indian authorities imposed a strict curfew by deploying thousands of government troops on roads and alley ways in Kashmir to thwart people to join  Anti-India and pro Kashmir processions ,which aims to protest against the killing of innocents in the valley. Massive  protests in Indian-Controlled  Kashmir over the killing of a young rebel commander Burhan Wani have left over 50 people dead and over 3000 as an ongoing unrest in Indian controlled Kashmir enters its 23th day. It is the worst violence in the area since 2010. The protests have triggered a heavy crackdown by Indian government forces including many strict curfews.#instagram#reportagespotlight#dailylifekashmir#kashmir#unrest#uprising#kashmirunrest2016#Pakistan#everdayasia#india#kashmireveryday#protes#demonastration#burhanwani#srinagar#oldcity#streets#

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9. Eeshanpeer

10. Babatamin

At SMHS hospital, 10-year-old patient, only identified as number “65”, shows me his injured eye, from a pellet shot by Indian forces in Srinagar, India-administered Kashmir. Recounting his story, he says, “I was beaten twice on the way to the hospital by troops.” Fearing profiling and reprisals by police, injured youth are identified as numbers by hospital staff to conceal their identity. As it turns out, plain-clothed police officers have been roaming in the hospitals on the hunt for injured protesters. Doctors say most of these patients will end up losing their eyesight in the wounded eye. Despite appeals by rights groups to stop the practice, Indian armed forces have continued to use pellet guns to quell protesters, injuring more than 100 people in the eye, in the recent violence that erupted in Kashmir. All rights reserved © Baba Tamim #onassignment for @aljazeera #pellet #victim #eye #injury #kashmir #gettyimages #reportagespotlight #ajeinpictures #instapic #picoftheday #warphotography #instagram #asia #humanrights #war #boy #hipaae @hipaae @gettyimages @burnmagazine #photojournalism #documentaryphotography @instagram #savethechildren

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11. Sajadrafeeq

I am caged within the limits of my existence, yet i do beleive in miracles.

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12. Ami Vitale

13. Altaf Qadri

Kashmiri kids enacting an ambush in #Srinagar #igasia #Kashmir

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Photo Credits : Altaf Qadri

Words By : Leher

Leher

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