FIR against Kashmir journalist over WhatsApp status

Sajid Raina, 24, who works with a local news agency in Bandipora district, had updated his WhatsApp status last week on the 15th anniversary of the Wular Lake boat tragedy in which 22 people – 21 of whom were children – died after a boat carrying them capsized in the lake
The scribe was booked by the Bandipora police on May 31. (Representational photo)
The scribe was booked by the Bandipora police on May 31. (Representational photo)
Published on Jun 06, 2021 12:22 AM IST
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By Ashiq Hussain, Srinagar

The Jammu and Kashmir police have filed an FIR against a north Kashmir journalist over a WhatsApp status showing children who died in boat capsize incident on May 30, 2006, at Wular Lake as “martyrs”.

Sajid Raina, 24, who works with a local news agency in Bandipora district, had updated his WhatsApp status last week on the 15th anniversary of the Wular Lake boat tragedy in which 22 people – 21 of whom were children – died after a boat carrying them capsized in the lake.

“It was a normal status remembering the children who died that day. I had no ill intention nor there was any politics behind the post,” he said adding that within a few hours of the status, he got a call from security agencies.

“The person on the call said that we are disappointed with your status. They had a problem with the word martyr. I said there is nothing wrong in this status, but if you think it is not right, I will delete it. Only 20 people had seen the post,” he said.

He said that despite the apology, he learnt on June 1 that the police had filed an FIR against him on May 31. “The superintendent of police called me after the FIR saying they will sort this thing out,” he said.

As per a tweet by a police spokesperson from the district, FIR number 84/2021 registered at Bandipora police station against Sajid Raina for his WhatsApp status on May 30 “attracts investigation into its contents and intention behind it”.

“It was not against anyone’s profession, particularly journalists, as it was being circulated on social media. Investigations are underway,” the tweet said.

Bandipora senior superintendent of police Mohd Zaid said that nobody will be victimised as they have not filed the FIR over somebody’s profession.

“I talked to Sajid. We have filed an FIR. There is always room for correction. We will take it to the logical conclusion. Nobody will be victimised,” he said.

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Saturday, October 16, 2021