India: media worker falsely accused for covering Jammu and Kashmir issueEvent
- Initial Date
- Feb 12, 2021
- Event Description
On February 12, Jammu and Kashmir police opened an investigation into Gul, a freelance journalist who contributes to The Kashmirwalla, for allegedly taking part in an illegal demonstration against home demolitions, according to Gul, who spoke to CPJ via phone, and news reports.
The investigation into Gul stems from an article he published on February 9, in which residents of Hajin, a town in Bandipora district, in north Kashmir, alleged that local government official Ghulam Mohammad Bhat had threatened them and forcefully demolished their homes, Gul told CPJ.
Gul said he believed the local authorities filed the complaint opening the investigation on Bhat’s instruction. In a text message to CPJ, Bhat denied having any role in filing the complaint.
The complaint alleges that Gul took part in an illegal demonstration opposing the demolitions on February 10, where he allegedly threw stones and shouted slogans, according to the journalist.
Police are investigating Gul for violating Sections 147 (rioting), 447 (criminal trespass), and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code, according to the journalist and The Kashmirwalla.
Gul denied partaking in such a demonstration, and told CPJ that he was in Srinagar, about 40 miles from Bandipora, on February 10.
Gul also told CPJ that the police had not given him a copy of the complaint, and have merely mentioned the counts on which he is being investigated. If charged and convicted, Gul could face up to two years of imprisonment under Indian law.
CPJ contacted Amritpal Singh, senior superintendent of police for Shopian, Colonel K. Arun of the army’s Additional Directorate General of Public Information, and Sajad Malik, police deputy superintendent of Hajin, for comment via messaging app, but did not receive any responses.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Right to liberty and security
- Media Worker
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 12 February 2021, Sajad Gul, media worker, was falsely charged and investigated for riot by the police after reporting local authorities alleging threatening villagers with house demolition in Jammu and Kashmir, India.