Three photojournalists from Jammu and Kashmir are among the 2020 Pulitzer Prize winners. The awards were announced virtually last night owing to the coronavirus outbreak.
Mukhtar Khan, Yasin Dar and Channi Anand - working with the Associated Press (AP) - won the top honours for their work in the region after massive restrictions were put in place by the government following the move to end Jammu and Kashmir's special statusn and split it into two union territories - Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Kashmir politician Omar Abdullah were among those who congratulated the three.
"Congratulations to Indian photojournalists Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan and Channi Anand for winning a Pulitzer Prize for their powerful images of life in Jammu & Kashmir. You make us all proud," Mr Gandhi tweeted.
Mr Abdullah, a former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and leader of the National Conference, said "it has been a difficult year for journalists in Kashmir".
"It's been a difficult year for journalists in Kashmir & that's saying something considering the last 30 years haven't exactly been easy. Congratulations to @daryasin, @muukhtark_khan & @channiap on this prestigious award. More power to your cameras," Omar Abdullah wrote on Twitter.
It's been a difficult year for journalists in Kashmir & that's saying something considering the last 30 years haven't exactly been easy. Congratulations to @daryasin, @muukhtark_khan & @channiap on this prestigious award. More power to your cameras. https://t.co/A7SH5hUEGZ— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) May 5, 2020
The Pulitzer Prizes, the most prestigious awards in American journalism, have been handed out since 1917, when newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer established them in his will.
Iltija Mufti, daughter of ex-Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti, too congratulated the photojournalists with a tweet from her mother's account.
The New York Times picked up the most awards this year, collecting three awards, including the international reporting prize for a series of stories on Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime.
News agency Reuters won the breaking news photography award for pictures of the Hong Kong protests. The explanatory reporting prize was awarded to the staff of The Washington Post for a series that showed the effects of extreme temperatures on the planet.
Pulitzer Prize board administrator Dana Canedy declared the winners from her living room via a livestream on YouTube rather than at a ceremony at New York's Columbia University. The announcement was postponed for two weeks because some journalists on the 18-member Pulitzer board are busy covering the coronavirus pandemic.
(With inputs from PTI, AFP and Reuters)