A Bravery Went Barred & an Award Not Taken: Pulitzer Awardee Mattoo

A Display of Racism or something else can’t be specified yet a too disturbing fact comes across as the thing that should be the pride for the country yet barred.  

Photojournalist Sanna Irshad Mattoo, 28, was stopped at the Delhi Airport from travelling to the US to receive Pulitzer Prize at a ceremony in New York, she said in a tweet on Tuesday, three months after she was barred from flying to France in July.

A Kashmiri girl Mattoo, said that she was stopped despite having all the necessary documents. “I was on my way to receive the Pulitzer award in New York but I was stopped at immigration at Delhi airport and barred from traveling internationally despite holding a valid US visa and ticket,” she tweeted.

She shared a picture of her passport, boarding pass, and a card with the title “The Pulitzer Prizes”.

“This is the second time I have been stopped without reason or cause. Despite reaching out to several officials after what happened a few months ago but I never received any response.

Being able to attend the award ceremony was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me.”

Mattoo was stopped at the Delhi airport on July 2, 2022 from travelling to France for a book launch and photography exhibition as one of the ten awardees of the Serendipity Arles Grant.

Jammu & Kashmir Police then told a news agency that Mattoo’s name was on a no-fly list without specifying the reason for it.

Mattoo, Adnan Abidi, Amit Dave, and Danish Siddiqui, who was killed while covering the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in 2021, were awarded the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in the feature photography category for their coverage of the Covid pandemic in India.

Aakash Hassan, another journalist from Kashmir, was on July 26 stopped at the Delhi Airport from boarding a flight to Colombo. In 2019, Kashmiri journalist-author Gowhar Geelani was prevented from travelling to Germany.