A Jammu and Kashmir policeman says that he fears for his life after being wrongly identified as the masked man whose pictures were published last week joining protesters throwing stones at police, and then arresting one of the protesting youths.
The policeman told The Sunday Express that he is depressed, and has asked to be transferred out of his current posting.
Last Friday and Saturday, two pictures — one of a masked man throwing a stone during a protest at Jamia Masjid in the old city, and another showing the same man to be an undercover policeman with a weapon arresting a protester — were published across media (including in The Indian Express of September 8).
On social media, details, purportedly of the policeman in the picture, were posted — including his name, the area where he was posted, his phone number and the name of the neighbourhood where he lives.
Soon after, a message appeared on Facebook, purportedly from the policeman himself, admitting that he was, indeed, the man in the pictures, and apologising for his actions.
But the policeman named in the social media posts told The Sunday Express that he is not the man in the photos, and that the Facebook account created in his name is fake. He spoke with this correspondent but refused to meet.
“Yes, I was among the police personnel deployed at the Jamia Masjid area that Friday, but I was in police uniform, not in civvies like the man in the photograph,” he said.
“On the same evening, someone created a fake Facebook account in my name. Several posts since then have come up from that account. It is not my account,” the policeman said.
“My family told me that I should leave this job. I am depressed because of what has happened… I have not visited my home. I fear for my life, and I have asked my seniors for a transfer from my present posting,” he said.
Sources in the police told The Sunday Express that the policeman has been receiving threats on his mobile phone from multiple locations and numbers.
SSP Srinagar Imtiaz Ismail Parray said police have registered an FIR in the matter. “We have registered a case after a fake account was created and information was posted by posing as a policeman. Investigations are on and the law will take its course,” Parry said. The policeman in question was “fine” and was doing his “job normally”, the officer said.
The SSP declined to provide any additional information about the policeman, including whether he might be transferred to a different location.
A senior state police officer said Saturday that all measures were being taken for the safety and security of the policeman.