Srinagar: A Kashmiri photo journalist, Masrat Zehra, has been booked by Jammu and Kashmir police under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for “uploading anti-national” posts on the social media.
According to a police press release, cyber Police Station received information through reliable sources that one Facebook user namely “Masrat Zahra” is uploading anti national posts with criminal intention to induce the youth and to promote offences against public tranquility.
“The Facebook user 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,” police said.
The police said a case FIR No. 10/2020 U/S 13 UA (P) Act and 505-IPC dated 18-04-2020 stands registered in Cyber Police Station, Kashmir Zone, Srinagar and investigation set into motion.((IANS)
Speaking to ‘The Print’, the photojournalist said the police action as an attempt to suppress her from bringing out stories of repression in Kashmir.“I am among the very few female photojournalists in Kashmir and have been working really hard to learn and to create my space for the past four years. They (police) want to silence me. They want to suppress me as I bring out the repressed voices and stories of Kashmir,” she said.
Many came out in her support with hashtags #JournalismIsnotCrime and #WestandWithMasratZahra trending. At her facebook wall users commented, journalists are being harassed, and also killed like Syed Shujaat Bukhari in Jammu and Kashmir.
Reporters Without Borders wrote, “Zahra told RSF she received a summons from the Srinagar police on the evening of 18 April, to which she responded that “it would be difficult for me to go out during the lockdown because I had no co curfew pass.”
It was only from tweets posted by the police this morning (20 April) that Zahra learned that she is charged under the UAPA and that a complaint – known in India as a First Information Report (FIR) – had also been filed against her under Section 505 of the Penal Code, which punishes inciting “an offence against the state or against public tranquillity.”
Courtesy to: The Print, Reporters Without Borders( RSF). Image: RSF website.