Jammu and Kashmir Police have booked one more journalist for allegedly objectionable social media posts. Gowhar Geelani, a journalist and an creator, has been charged underneath stringent anti-terror legislation UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act).
This is the third FIR (first data report) towards Kashmir-based journalists within the final 48 hours.
In a press release issued by J&Ok Police’s Cyber Cell, Mr Geelani has been accused of “indulging in unlawful activities through his posts and writings on social media platforms, which are prejudicial to the national integrity, sovereignty and security of India”.
“The unlawful activities include glorifying terrorism in Kashmir Valley, causing disaffection against the country and causing fear or alarm in the minds of public that may lead to commission of offences against public tranquillity and the security of (the) state,” the assertion provides.
According to police “several complaints” had been obtained towards Mr Geelani for “threatening and intimidation”.
Interestingly, hours earlier than this case, the head of Srinagar’s Cyber Police unit was referred to as out for previous tweets calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “sadist”.
Tahir Ashraf, Superintendent (Cyber Police), was pressured to delete a tweet posted in 2013 wherein he mentioned: “Narendra Modi’s puppy analogy on 2002 riots shows his real character… sadistic”.
— MUSAIB BIN UMEYR (@MusaibUmeyr) April 21, 2020
Twitter customers have been fast to put up saved display screen photographs and demand the senior cop even be booked.
I assume the enthusiastic cyber police must e book this particular person @Tahir_A.
— AngryKangri (@qazizaid89) April 21, 2020
Mr Ashraf was additionally criticised for controversial tweets concerning the ruling BJP and the Hindutva ideology.
Earlier two different journalists, Peerzada Ahique (a reporter for The Hindu newspaper) and Masrat Zahra, a younger photographer, have been booked.
Like Mr Geelani, Ms Zahra, who was questioned Tuesday, was booked underneath UAPA for social media posts; cops allege her feedback are “anti-national”.
On Monday, Mr Ashique was questioned over a narrative revealed by his newspaper. He was subsequently directed to Anantnag district to hitch the investigation. As per cops a FIR has been registered over a “fake” information report however neither Mr Ashique nor The Hindu have been named.
Over the final eight months, because the centre withdrew particular standing to Jammu and Kashmir underneath Article 370, a number of journalists working in Srinagar have been summoned by the police. Reporters and media individuals have alleged harassment and have claimed freedom of the press is being muzzled.
They have demanded that circumstances towards them be withdrawn.
Meanwhile, the Editors Guild of India has expressed shock and concern over the FIRs. In its assertion the organisation referred to as “gross misuse of power”.
“Purpose is to strike terror into journalists. The Guild believes this is an indirect way of intimidating journalists in the rest of the country as well,” it mentioned.
The Editors Guild of India has issued a press release pic.twitter.com/GUam3Ti53N
— Editors Guild of India (@IndEditorsGuild) April 21, 2020
The organisation has referred to as on the federal government to make sure journalists not be put in hurt’s manner or be harassed and has additionally demanded that expenses be dropped.
In a press release, human rights group Amnesty International additionally urged the centre to cease intimidation of journalists in Jammu and Kashmir.