Kashmiri woman journalist booked under UAPA

J&K Police has registered an First Information Report against a journalist Masrat Zahra, 26, for allegedly uploading anti-national posts photographs on social media.

Calling her a “Facebook user”, the police complaint charges her for “uploading anti-national posts with criminal intention to induce the youth and to promote offenses against public tranquillity”.

The complaint also alleges that the journalist “is also believed to be uploading photographs which can provoke the public to disturb law and order.  The user is also uploading posts that tantamount to glorify the anti-national activities and dent the image of law-enforcing agencies besides causing disaffection against the country”.

At the same time, the complaint advises the general public to refrain from misuse of social media platforms and circulation of unauthorised information through such platforms. “Any person found indulging in such activities will be dealt with strictly under law,” the complaint states.

Zahra has been a photojournalist for the past four years and her work has been published in Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Caravan etc.  Journalist fraternity in Kashmir has opposed the police complaint against her and urged the government to withdraw it.  

Kashmir Press Club (KPC) has condemned the “recent cases of harassment and summons to journalists by police in Kashmir”.

“While journalism in Kashmir had never been easy, challenges and hardships have multiplied for journalists since August 5, 2019,” the KPC statement said.