The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday booked a cleric under the Public Safety Act for “spreading hate and justifying the killing” of television actor Ambreen Bhat, an official statement said.
The Public Safety Act is preventive detention law. It allows local authorities to detain individuals deemed a threat to public order for up to one year and those seen as a threat to national security for up to two years without trial and with no formal charges.
Bhat, known for her roles in television dramas and social media videos, was shot dead in Chadoora town of Budgam district on May 25. A police statement blamed the killing on “three terrorists of proscribed terror outfit LeT”, or the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
On Saturday, the police detained Mohammad Irfan Bhat, a resident of Takiya Wagoora in Baramulla district.
He recorded and uploaded a video accusing Bhat of spreading “immodesty”, the International Business Times reported.
“The act of uploading such a hateful video, justifying killing of artiste Ambreen Bhat on YouTube channel has not only caused alarm and fear amongst the class of people performing art, singing, dancing, etc., but also the families associated with them,” the police statement said. “Moreover, this act also amounts to supporting terrorist acts, besides such videos have a tendency to make more people vulnerable to such attacks.”
The cleric was sent to Jammu’s Kot Balwal Jail after being booked under the Public Safety Act .
The Budgam Police warned social media users against spreading “hate and venom”.
“The police once again advises social media users not to get involved in such filthy acts and avoid falling prey to such anti-social and anti-national agenda,” the statement added. “Community members are requested to share any such information with the police so that legal action under law shall be taken against such anti-social or anti-national elements.”
Since January, at least 19 targeted killings, including those of police officials, teachers and village heads, have been reported in Kashmir. Out of these, 13 were civilians – six were Hindus and seven were Kashmiri Muslims. Many of them were shot point-blank in their homes or workplaces.
The actor’s father, Khazar Bhat, told Scroll.in that they were never harassed or warned by militants.