Journalist Rana Ayyub receives death and rape threats ‘for speaking on Kashmir’

Srinagar: ‘Inundated’ with threats receiving on Facebook from last two days, Journalist Rana Ayyub on Saturday shared a series of screen shots on social media, threatening her of rape and murder.

On Friday afternoon, she had tweeted, “my timeline, my inbox is inundated with death and rape threats the last two days for speaking on Kashmir,” with screenshots of the threats by a user named Pranay Bhowmik.

The threats ‘reminding her of Lankesh’s death’ have been particularly ‘nerve-wracking’ for her.

In another screenshot, an account called ‘Hindu Rashtra’ asked Ayyub to recall Gauri Lankesh — a journalist who was shot dead in 2017.

Speaking to news website The Print, Ayyub said, “very time I write or speak on Kashmir, the hate is unimaginable. This time however I think they are doing it brazenly. Earlier at least they used to cover their words, use a language that isn’t specific, but this time they are being specific and aren’t scared of anything.”

She told The Print; “I remember three days before Gauri died, she posted on my Facebook wall when I was receiving a lot of hate, telling me that I shouldn’t worry and that these people wont do anything. Three days later she was killed so there is always a sense of fear that what if online hate will go offline.”

It all began when Ayyub, a known vocal critic of the Modi government, tweeted Wednesday on Khan’s killing in Jammu and Kashmir. “When it comes to Kashmir, there are no humanists, just convenient nationalists,” she had tweeted.

The Navi Mumbai Police took cognisance of the threats made against Ayyub. An inspector from the Kopar Khairane Police Station, Abhijit Madke, paid her a visit at her residence within two hours of her tagging the Mumbai Police in her tweet thread.

“The inspector was comforting and asked me to record a statement tomorrow. I will be recording my statement tomorrow and handing over all the evidence including threats on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They have assured swift action,” said Ayyub.

On the morning of July, 1, 2020, an elderly man identified as Bashir Ahmed Khan and an armed forces personnel were killed in Sopore. Police has said that both the killings were done my militants who shot rounds of fire. Bashir was travelling with his 3-year-old grandson.

The family and relatives of the deceased claimed that Bashir Ahmed was killed by CRPF personnel who dragged him down from his vehicle and shot him to avenge the killing of their colleague by the militants.

Disturbing visuals of  Bashir’s 3 year old child sitting on the motionless dead-body of his grandfather, was shared by the police.

The boy was numb with fear when he was picked up by policemen. A short video shows the boy sobbing inside a police van as biscuits and chocolates are offered to him by the police personnel. However, police have strongly refuted allegations of the family.

“I want to ask them if they were present at the site of incident. Did they see who fired,” Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Vijay Kumar, said while briefing a press gathering in Srinagar.

Amnesty India has said that the Kashmir Police is responsible for violating the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 by sharing the visuals of the minor and revealing his identity.

Ex-Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has accused the forces of using the tragedy for Public Relations.

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