Raids in Kashmir over threats to journalists

Updated on Nov 25, 2022 12:37 AM IST

The police on Thursday conducted searches at seven places across three districts of Kashmir and detained several people for questioning in connection with alleged threats issued to journalists on November 12 through a blog, “The Kashmir Fight”.

Security personnel frisk bike riders during high-alert following the recent killings of non-locals and threat to journalists and reporters based in Kashmir, in Srinagar. (PTI)
Security personnel frisk bike riders during high-alert following the recent killings of non-locals and threat to journalists and reporters based in Kashmir, in Srinagar. (PTI)
By, Srinagar

The police on Thursday conducted searches at seven places across three districts of Kashmir and detained several people for questioning in connection with alleged threats issued to journalists on November 12 through a blog, “The Kashmir Fight”.

The blog had accused had named several journalists and accused them of calling banned outfit Jamaat-e-Islami, a terror outfit, in their news reports. The blog also had blamed the news outlets for being “hand-in-glove with the government”.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, a Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police spokesperson said searches were conducted in Srinagar, Badgam and Pulwama districts. On November 19, searches were conducted at 12 places across the Valley in connection with the same case.

According to the spokesperson, Thursday’s searches were conducted at premises of Showkat Mota in Srinagar; Khaksar Nadeem Adnan in Srinagar; Haji Hayat in Pampore and Srinagar; Ishfaq Reshi in Badgam; Asif Dar in Srinagar and Saqib Magloo in Srinagar.

“Some suspects have been detained for questioning, however, those on whose houses searches were carried earlier are being summoned on daily basis for examination.This is subsequent to the leads received from searches done a few days ago (November 19),” the spokesperson said.

“During the search, all the legal formalities and SOPs were followed and incriminating materials including mobiles, computers, laptops, pen drives, simcards, Jihadi literature, banking documents... US & Russian currency notes were recovered and seized by the respective teams,” the spokesperson added.

On November 12, An FIR was registered at the Sherghari police station against terror handlers, active terrorists and terrorist associates of proscribed terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its offshoot TRF for issuing the threats.

The case was registered under the The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2008 (UAPA) and Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections, 124A (Sedition), 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief), 153B (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) & 506 (Criminal intimidation).

The police then conducted its first round of searches on Saturday.

“...During the course of investigation, each team comprised 4-5 members and led by an officer and launched simultaneous searches at 12 locations across the Valley, including the houses of Sajjad Gul, Mukhtar Baba, active terrorists of proscribed terror outfit LeT (TRF) and other suspects in Srinagar, Anantnag and Kulgam Districts,” the spokesman said about Saturday’s searches.

After the threats surfaced online, five journalists had resigned from their posts in a local newspaper.

Last week, the Editors Guild of India (EGI) had condemned the threats.

In a statement, the guild had said that it was deeply concerned about the threats issued by alleged terror organisations and the subsequent resignations of five journalists from their respective media outlets.

“Journalists in Kashmir now find themselves in the firing line from the state authorities as well as terrorists, in what is a throwback to the years of heightened militancy in the 1990s,” it said.

“The Guild strongly condemns these threats and calls upon the state government to create an atmosphere of security and trust wherein the media is not compelled to take sides and is able to work in a free environment with full security,” the statement said.

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