Gowhar Geelani | Twitter
Text Size:

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Cyber Police Tuesday night said it filed a case against a Kashmiri author-journalist Gowhar Geelani for “glorifying terrorism in Kashmir Valley” through social media posts, the second such FIR to be filed against a journalist in four days.

Geelani is an independent reporter who has been published by BBC, DailyO, and Scroll.in, among others. He also worked with Deutsche Welle for several years in Germany.

The official statement issued by the police did not cite the sections under which Geelani was booked, but sources said these were similar to those connected with Masrat Zahra, a photojournalist who was charged under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for her social media posts.

The J&K administration has been facing criticism from journalists for its action against Zahra and The Hindu reporter Peerzada Ashiq, who has been questioned in connection with an FIR filed against a report of his.


Also read: UAPA charge on J&K journalist is misuse of power, effort to terrorise media: Editors Guild


Case against Geelani

A senior police officer told ThePrint that authorities had been “compiling information” about Geelani’s social media activity for some time now.

In a press release, the police said: “Cyber Police Station Kashmir Zone, Srinagar, has received information through reliable sources that an individual namely ‘Gowher Geelani’ is indulging in unlawful activities through his posts and writings on Social Media platform (sic) 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 tranquility and the security of State.”

The statement further said that several complaints have also been received against Geelani for “threatening and intimidation”.

“A Case FIR No. 11/2020 under the relevant sections of law has been registered at Cyber Police Station Kashmir and investigation initiated,” it said.


Also read: ‘Appalling condition’ for media — Kashmir journalists ask govt to stop muzzling free speech


Journalists under fire

Zahra was booked under UAPA Saturday for publishing “anti-national” posts on social media. In a statement released Monday, police didn’t specify which posts of Zahra were anti-national, but said she had uploaded photographs which could “provoke the public to disturb law and order”.

Zahra was called in for questioning Tuesday at the Cyber Police Station in Srinagar.

The Hindu reporter Ashiq was called in for questioning by two different police stations Sunday before an FIR was filed Monday in connection with a story reported by him.

“Describing a report headlined ‘Kin allowed to exhume bodies of militants in Baramulla‘ published by The Hindu on April 19 as ‘fake news’, the Jammu and Kashmir police have registered an FIR in the matter,” read The Hindu report on 20 April.

The report was on two militants killed in an encounter in South Kashmir’s Shopian region. Two families had come forward to claim the bodies of the slain militants whom the authorities had said were unidentified.

The administration had buried the slain militants in a graveyard in Sheeri, Baramulla, reserved for foreign, unidentified or unclaimed militants.


Also read: I’m speechless, says J&K journalist Masrat Zahra after being booked for ‘anti-national’ posts


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

3 Comments Share Your Views

3 COMMENTS

  1. Journalists are not above the law. They should get this message loud and clear. They cannot write fake news and make anti national posts in the name of freedom of speech. With every right comes a responsibility.

  2. why police is sleeping about main stream hindi news channel. who are broadcasting fake news. hate news.is this freedom to speak.

  3. The Print has tried hard to whitewash in this article, that’s confirmation that this fellow must be carrying out anti-national activities.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here