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Kashmiri photojournalist charged in India administered Kashmir for spreading alleged fake news through her social media posts

Kashmiri photojournalist charged in India administered Kashmir for spreading alleged fake news through her social media posts

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The Jammu and Kashmir police have booked a Kashmiri photojournalist under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for posting what they have called “anti-national” content on social media.

A statement issued by the police on Monday said it has registered a case against the photojournalist, Masrat Zahra, under Section 13 of UAPA and Section 505 of the Indian Penal Code, in the cyber police station, Srinagar.

“The user is also uploading posts that tantamount to glorify the anti-national activities and dent the image of law enforcing agencies besides causing disaffection against the country,” reads the statement.

The Wire

The police statement, however, did not mention specific posts by the journalist.Tahir Ashraf, who heads the cyber police in Kashmir, said the police has issued a statement regarding the case and will not be saying anything further. Zahra has been working as a freelance journalist since 2016 end. Her work has been published in various national and international news publications including Washington PostTRT WorldAl Jazeera, The New Humanitarian and The Caravan.

What does Zahra has to say in her defence?

Zahra said she was contacted by the cyber police on Saturday and asked to appear before them. However, after the Kashmir Press Club (KPC) and J&K Directorate of Information intervened, the journalist was told the matter has been “sorted out”. But, Zahra said, she has been asked to present herself before the police on Tuesday. “I haven’t been officially informed about the case. I came to know about it through colleagues and social media,” she said. She added that she does not know what posts it’s about.

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