Police Arrests ‘We Are Palestine’ Graffiti Artist in Kashmir

Srinagar: A professional artist whose graffiti of a sobbing Palestinian woman went viral on social media was arrested by police in a raid at his house in Padshahi Bagh area of this capital city, reports said Saturday.

30-year-old Mudasir Gul, as per the reports, was picked up by a police team from his Padshahi Bagh home on Friday night for drawing graffiti on a platform showing a sobbing woman with her head covered with Palestine flag, reports said. The artist had also written “WE ARE PALESTINE” next to the image of the woman.

According to the reports, cops took Gul to the platform and directed him to deface the graffiti. He was later shifted to the police station where he remains detained.

When contacted, an official at the Police Station Sadder told Kashmir Observer that the man is currently under detention. However, he refused to divulge grounds of detention or charges slapped against Gul.

“We can give you more details if you visit the police station,” the official said before hanging up the call.

20 Arrested For Taking Part in Pro Palestine Demos

Meanwhile police on Saturday arrested 20 persons for taking part in the pro-Palestine demonstrations held after Friday prayers in various parts of Kashmir. It also warned protesters of legal action if found involved in “inciting violence on the streets of the Valley.”

According to reports, twenty people have been arrested by police from several localities of this capital city for holding pro-Palestine demonstrations on Friday amidst a government imposed curfew to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Inspector General of Police Kashmir Vijay Kumar confirmed the arrest of 20 persons in Srinagar.

Friday’s demonstrations came in the backdrop of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza leading to the killing of over 139 people, including 39 children and 22 women. Eight people have also been killed in the attacks by Hamas.

Meanwhile, in a strongly worded statement issued here on Saturday, a police spokesperson said that a very close watch was being kept on the elements who were attempting to leverage the “unfortunate situation in Palestine to disturb public peace and order” in the Kashmir valley.

“We are a professional force and are sensitive to public anguish. But J&K police have a legal responsibility to ensure law and order as well. It, however, wouldn’t allow cynical encashment of the public anger to trigger violence, lawlessness and disorder on Kashmir streets,” the spokesperson said.

He further said that expressing opinion was a freedom but engineering and inciting violence on streets was unlawful.

“All irresponsible social media comments that result in actual violence and breaking of law including Covid protocol will attract legal action,” he said.

He added that the IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar has urged cooperation of all citizens in this regard.

Pertinently, the police statement came a day after sporadic demonstrations were witnessed in parts of the Valley. On Friday afternoon, scores of people hit the streets in Kawdara locality of the old city and staged a pro-Palestine demonstration and denounced Israeli aggression in the occupied territories. Prior to that, a graffiti with Palestinian flags had appeared in the Padshahi Bagh locality to express solidarity with the suffering Palestinians.

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