J&K girls face online threats for posing with Prez

Off the mark

J&K girls face online threats for posing with Prez

The troupe of 30 girl students from Jammu and Kashmir undertaking a countrywide tour under the Army’s ‘Operation Sadbhavna’ programme has faced threat and abuse online.

The students, who also visited the Rashtrapati Bhavan besides the Lok Sabha and several other places, had a group photograph with President Pranab Mukherjee. They were  targeted on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The abusive posts not only cast aspersions on the girls’ character but also termed their tour as one for grooming “Army informers”. Their photograph with the President, was also shared online. While some of their critics sought punishment for them, others said they deserved a “social boycott”.

Earlier this week, the Army termed the students as “Proud ambassadors of Kashmir” who won hearts in Delhi. However, no steps were seen on behalf of the government or  civil society on taking action against the abuses. It was left to some prominent individuals from the state to come to the students’ defence.

Popular radio voice and producer at 92.7 Big FM RJ Nasir said in support of the girls on his Facebook wall: “I should hang my head in shame on how our own sisters are being trolled, abused and tarnished on social media for meeting the Honourable President and how the government is silent and civil society is downplaying it.”

“I think the journalists should take a strong note of it and highlight the plight of these girls,” he said.

The police, however, have not acted against the abuses and threats. An officer said they were not aware of the development. “Nobody informed us,” he said adding: “Unless a complaint is formally received, we cannot act.”

Another official said the social media has become “too large” to be controlled unless the government prescribes some policy on dealing with hatemongers online. “Social media has become a hub of abuses,” he said.

Security analysts said the girls have a threat in volatile Kashmir because of the circulation of hate posts.

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