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Was Hard to File Kashmir Photos: Pulitzer Winning AP Photographer

The Pulitzer Prize winners were announced on 4 May virtually.

Updated
India
2 min read
Was Hard to File Kashmir Photos: Pulitzer Winning AP Photographer
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The winners of the Pulitzer Prize for 2020 were declared on Monday, 4 May, with Channi Anand, Mukhtar Khan, and Dar Yasin of The Associated Press winning the prize for Feature Photography for their coverage of the Jammu and Kashmir lockdown. The prize winners were announced virtually on YouTube because of the coronavirus pandemic by Pulitzer board administrator Dana Canedy.

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The lockdown in Kashmir, saw a sweeping curfew and no internet access for months on end. Covering the tense climate in Kashmir was obviously a challenging task, and the photographers had to take shelter in strangers’ homes and hide their cameras in vegetable bags. “It was always cat-and-mouse,” Yasin told The Associated Press on Monday.

He added, “These things made us more determined than ever to never be silenced.” ⁠Anand said that he was left ‘speechless’ and that he couldn’t believe it. Yasin and Khan live in Srinagar, while Anand is based in Jammu.

Kashmiri men dismantling a house destroyed in a gun battle in Tral village.
Kashmiri men dismantling a house destroyed in a gun battle in Tral village.
(Photo: Dar Yasin/ AP)

The Executive Editor of Associated Press Sally Buzbee said the prize for the photography work in Kashmir was “a testament to the skill, bravery, ingenuity and teamwork of Dar, Mukhtar, Channi and their colleagues”.

“At a time when AP’s journalism is of more value than ever to the world, these journalists’ courage and compelling storytelling show the absolute best of what we do,” Buzbee told AP.

Kashmiri Muslim devotees offer prayer outside the shrine of Sufi saint Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani in Srinagar.
Kashmiri Muslim devotees offer prayer outside the shrine of Sufi saint Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani in Srinagar.
(Photo: Mukhtar Khan/AP)
Indian paramilitary soldiers break motorbikes parked outside a college as they clash with students protesting in Srinagar against the rape of a 3-year-old child.
Indian paramilitary soldiers break motorbikes parked outside a college as they clash with students protesting in Srinagar against the rape of a 3-year-old child.
(Photo: Dar Yasin/ AP)

It was particularly difficult for the photographers to file the pictures, and so they used people travelling out of the state at courier. They would drop off the photographs at Srinagar airport, and would find strangers who would agree to take the memory cards and drives to Delhi and then contact the AP office. “It was very hard, but we managed to file pictures,” Mukhtar Khan told AP.

The New York Times led when it came to the other Pulitzers, picking up awards for Investigative Reporting, International Reporting, and Commentary. The photography staff at Reuters won the Pulitzer for Breaking News Photography, and the staff at The Washington Post won for Explanatory Reporting.

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