The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday directed the superintendent of Kot Bhalwal central jail to make arrangements for journalist Sajad Gul to appear for his university examinations, reported Kashmir Life.

The High Court’s Thursday order was passed on Gul’s plea seeking direction to the jail superintendent to make arrangements for facilitating his appearance in the third semester of the Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication examination conducted by Central University of Kashmir. The examinations began from Friday.

Gul was arrested first on January 6 after he posted a video of family members and relatives of Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Salim Parray protesting against his death in a gunfight on the outskirts of Srinagar. He was charged under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), and 505B (fear or alarm to the public) of the Indian Penal Code.

He was granted bail on January 15 with the court directing the police to release him against a bond of Rs 30,000 if he was not involved in any other crime.

However, the next day the journalist, who works for news portal The Kashmir Walla, was booked under the Public Safety Act.

Gul could not be released as his name had cropped up in another first information report registered against him earlier in January under Sections 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence commit­ted in prosecution of common object) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

His arrest had been widely condemned, with several press bodies demanding his release and expressing concern about the crackdown on journalists in Kashmir.

A police officer in Bandipora, who did not wish to be identified, had told that they were acting against Gul’s social media presence rather than the journalist’s news reports.

Last year, the journalist had been charged with “rioting, trespassing, and assault” for an article he wrote for The Kashmir Walla on February 9, according to the website. In the article, the villagers of Bandipora had alleged that they were being “harassed and threatened” by Tehsildar Hajin Ghulam Mohammad Bhat over the alleged demolition drive in the area.

Later in October, Gul was summoned at Hajin police station in Bandipora district for questioning in connection with a news report and a video he posted on Twitter.

The article, published in Mountain Ink magazine, and the video had reported the claims of the family members of a 25-year-old man who was killed in a gunfight. The family members had said that Imtiyaz Ahmad Kakroo was innocent and was killed in a “fake encounter” with the police.

Besides Gul, the editor-in-chief of The Kashmir Walla, Fahad Shah, is also in jail on charges under Sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.

Shah was earlier arrested on February 4 for posting alleged anti-national content on social media. He was granted bail after 22 days by a National Investigation Agency court. However, the journalist was arrested again on February 26 hours after getting bail.

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Journalist Sajad Gul was booked under PSA as he could have got bail otherwise: J&K administration