A recent police order under the CrPC suggested that the posting of content could potentially trigger a communal frenzy, promote terrorism and separatism, and ‘will be a legal offence’ in J&K
The Jammu and Kashmir Police launched a crackdown on netizens and booked scores in Kashmir ahead of the Supreme Court’s verdict on Article 370. A police spokesperson said one person from north Kashmir’s Baramulla faced legal proceedings for his social media posts. “The [legal] action is in response to his uploading hateful videos containing inflammatory and seditious statements on social media platforms,” the spokesperson said.
The content of these posts has not been shared by the police. Official sources said legal action had been taken against three residents of Anantnag district in south Kashmir, and two residents of Ganderbal district in central Kashmir “for uploading and sharing hateful content on social media platforms”. Official sources also said around nine residents face action for their social media posts so far. The J&K Police, however, could not confirm the numbers immediately.
The J&K Police have warned locals against the “misuse” of social media. “Any attempt to vitiate the environment and create issues in public order will be seen seriously and legal action will be taken,” the police said. The action against netizens comes in the wake of a recent police order under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) suggesting that the posting of content (messages, and audio and video files) could potentially trigger a communal frenzy, promote terrorism and separatism, and “will be a legal offence” in J&K.
These actions come ahead of the upcoming verdict of the Supreme Court on Article 370 on December 11. Security has been heightened across Kashmir, with the search of vehicles and frisking of pedestrians stepped up. Amid heightened security, militants shot at and injured a policeman, Mohammad Hafiz Chad, at Hamdaniya colony in Bemina in Srinagar on Saturday evening. Mr. Chad is also a resident of Bemina. “The policeman has been shifted to hospital for treatment. The area was cordoned off,” the police said.
The attack comes a day after police officials were asked to follow standard operating procedures while on duty or on leave to avoid becoming soft targets of militants in the Kashmir Valley. Two policemen were shot dead by militants in targeted attacks in October this year.