J&K journos booked for 'anti-national posts, fake news'

Jammu and Kashmir police books journalists for 'anti-national' posts, 'fake news'

Jammu and Kashmir police have booked a female freelance photojournalist and a correspondent of a national daily for uploading “anti-national posts” on social media and regarding a fake news item being published in the “The Hindu” respectively

A police spokesperson said that cyber Police Station, Srinagar received information through reliable sources that one Facebook user namely Masrat Zehra is frequently uploading “anti-national posts with the criminal intention.”

“The post by the users can provoke the public to disturb the law and order and to glorify the anti-national activities etc. In this regard FIR No. 10/2020 under the relevant provision of law was registered,” he said,

The case against Zahra has been registered under section 13 UA(P) Act and 505-IPC.  The UAPA allows the government to designate individuals as terrorists and empowers the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe such cases.

Zahra told DH that she has been asked to come to the police station on Tuesday. “Police have nowhere mentioned that I am a journalist. They have said that I am a Facebook user,” she said.

The police have also registered FIR against Kashmir correspondent of “The Hindu” Pirzda Ashiq regarding a “fake” news item, regarding an encounter at Shopian and subsequent developments.

“The details quoted in the news item were factually incorrect and could cause fear or alarm in the minds of the public. The news published without seeking confirmation from the district authorities,” the spokesperson said.

In this regard Case FIR No 81/2020 has been registered in police station Anantnag and the individual was called for questioning. “The investigation in both the cases is in progress,” he said.

Zahra is the second journalist in Kashmir who has been booked under UAPA. Earlier, Srinagar based journalist Asif Sultan was also booked under the same act for allegedly providing logistical support to a banned militant organisation. He continues to remain in detention.

The press bodies and other journalists in Kashmir, took to social media to lodge their protest against the action. Kashmir Press Club, in a statement, asked Union Home Minister Amit Shah and J&K Lt Governor G C Murmu to issue directions for putting an end to ‘harassment’ of journalists in the Union Territory.