The Cyber Police Station Kashmir Zone on Tuesday booked journalist and author Gowhar Geelani for allegedly “indulging in unlawful activities” through social media that are “prejudicial to the national integrity, sovereignty and security of India”. The police alleged that Geelani had been glorifying terrorism in the Kashmir Valley through his posts.
“Several complaints have also been received against the said individual for threatening and intimidation,” the cyber police said. Subsequently, a first information report has been filed at the Cyber Police Station in Srinagar, the police added.
On April 18, the police had charged a photojournalist under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for allegedly uploading posts that glorify “anti-national activities” on social media. The police said that Masrat Zahra, a freelance photojournalist who reports mostly about women and children in conflict, uploaded photographs that could “provoke the public to disturb law and order”.
The amended UAPA allows the government to proscribe individuals as terrorists and empowers more officers of the National Investigation Agency to probe cases. A person charged under the act can be jailed for up to seven years.
The police has also warned people of strict action if they are found circulating inflammatory content on social media. “General public is advised to refrain from misuse of social media platforms and circulation of unauthenticated information,” they said. “Any person found indulging in such activities will be dealt with strictly under law.”
Earlier this month, the police arrested Kashmir Observer reporter Mushtaq Ahmad in Bandipora when he was working. He was later released on bail. The Kashmir Press Club had condemned the police action against both Zahra and Ahmad.