Kashmiri Journalist booked for WhatsApp status

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Srinagar: In a surprising development, Jammu and Kashmir police has booked Bandipora Kashmiri journalist over a WhatsApp status showing 20 children who died in boat capsize incident on May 30, 2006, at Wular Lake as “martyrs”.

The journalist Sajid Raina received a call from police station Bandipora that an FIR has been lodged against him for keeping the WhatsApp status that showed 20 children who died in Wular lake boat capsize incident on May 30, 2006, as “martyrs.”

“I was shocked to hear that an FIR has been lodged for keeping a simple WhatsApp status about 20 children who died on May 3, 2006, when their boat capsized in Wular Lake. This is really shocking. I don’t know what was wrong with my WhatsApp status,” he said.

Meanwhile, the news agency Kashmir News Observer, where the journalist works as a correspondent, apprised the top officials of police about the issue; however, there was no response at all.

The news agency urges the Kashmir Press Club, Editors Guild, and other media organizations to take note of the issue, as the journalists in the peripheral areas are being ‘harassed’ day-in and day-out on one pretext or the other.

Earlier, a few days back, the news agency’s copy editor was also called to police station Bandipora for a Tweet about shifting of Oxygen Plant and non-functionality of ventilators at DH Bandipora (Level-III Covid Care Facility).

The editor was made to sit in the police station for hours together and was “questioned”, over a simple Tweet.

Meanwhile, police in a statement said: “FIR has been lodged in police station Bandipora vide FIR no 84/2021 against one person namely Sajid Raina for his WhatsApp status on 30-05-2021 which attracts investigation into the contents and intention behind it.”  “It was not against anyone’s profession particularly journalists as being circulated in social media, Investigations are underway,” the statement added. (KNO)


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