Updated: January 23, 2022 7:47:28 am
While invoking the Public Safety Act (PSA) against 29-year-old journalist Sajad Gul, the Jammu and Kashmir administration pointed to apprehensions he may be granted bail by a court and stated he was reporting less about the welfare of the Union Territory and, being well-educated, could use social media to provoke people against the government.
A master’s in journalism student at the Central University of Kashmir, Gul worked with a local news outlet The KashmirWalla. He was arrested on January 6 by the J&K Police after complaints about a video he posted on social media showing the family of a slain militant raising anti-India slogans.
Three FIRs were registered against him – two based on complaints by police and one based on a complaint by a local tehsildar. The court of the judicial magistrate at Sumbal in Bandipora granted him bail on January 15, but he was booked under the Public Safety Act the next day.
The PSA dossier signed by the Bandipora Deputy Commissioner Owais Ahmad, seen by The Indian Express states: “You have always made/ tweeted controversial statements on social media and being a journalist, you are less reporting about welfare of UT (Union Territory) rather promoting enmity. You remain in search of anti-national/ anti-social tweets and have remained a negative critique towards UT Policies. You make tweets without factual check in order to provoke the people against the Government. You act as self-proclaimed messiah of terrorists and their families and often use to raise Issues which harm the national interests.”
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The dossier also said that he “being well educated” used social media to provoke people against the government. “Since (the) internet has made the world a global village and you use it as a tool by making statements on social media which causes mischief and promotes enmity… Besides, it is easy for you to manipulate people of (the) valley towards your ill intentions as you are well qualified and can brainwash people easily against (a) Government established by law,” read the dossier.
Noting that Gul was presently under proper police remand, the dossier said, “… there is every apprehension that you may get bailed out from Hon’ble Court of law thus will prove fatal for peaceful atmosphere, tranquility, law and order of the Nation… your release at this stage will be a threat not only for Bandipora area but for the whole valley.”
Referring to the three FIRs registered against Gul, the dossier said his activities are “prejudicial to the security and sovereignty of the country”. “You are filled with hatred against (the) Union of India and even a lay man can judge your Intentions/activities by visiting or accessing your social media timeline… If kept at large will surely act against the peaceful atmosphere which has been established by the tireless efforts of the law enforcing agencies… You may play (a) key role in instigating/ provoking not only the youth of your locality but of (the) whole valley as you have a good number of followers on social media.”
Gul has over 1,000 followers on Twitter.
Describing him as a “mere puppet under the banner of journalism”, the PSA dossier said, “You have developed relations with various anti-national gangs being operated from across (the) border… Your aim and object seem to destabilize the Government established by law in the Union of Territory of J&K and also to assist the local misguided youth for harboring and providing them every logistic support in their anti-national activities.”
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