Police Warns Social Media Users in Kashmir, Second Time In 10 Days

‘You Are What You Post, Think Before You Share’

Srinagar- In a second such warning in less than a fortnight, the Jammu & Kashmir Police has warned social media users to refrain from posting content that is “supporting & promoting militancy through social media or face cases under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act."

The advertisement issued on the front pages of Srinagar dailies has warned social media users that “supporting and promoting terror is as grave as the actual act of terror”.

Notably, the advertisement published in the December 23 edition of local dailies is the second of its kind in the last ten days. The first advertisement that had warned social media users was published on the front pages of local dailies on 12th December, a day before the militants ambushed a Police bus in Zewan area of Srinagar leaving three policemen dead and 11 others injured.

In the advertisement that was published under the banner of “BEWARE SOCIAL MEDIA USERS”, J&K Police had cited few examples of social media posts, which it claimed were either “promoting violence” or “acted as agents of terrorist handlers”. One of the screen grabs shared by J&K Police in the advertisement is of a Facebook post “urging village/Mohalla/town committees of Kashmir to make sure that not a single non-local lives in Kashmir.”

Pertinently, another example cited by J&K Police are some screen grabs of Telegram messages where an unknown person is identifying another. “It is not normal to act as information agents of militant handlers in Pakistan and help them to kill your neighbor and colleagues.” are the captions running under the screen grab.

Another screengrab shared in the advertisement is of United Liberation Front of Jammu and Kashmir, a militant outfit, warning policemen that “they would face similar violence if they did not resign from their jobs”. This was issued after a policeman was killed in Srinagar. Alongside with this, a news report on the Policeman’s killing was also attached along with a caption, “It is not normal either to post or forward threat messages.”

It is pertinent to mention here that soon after Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat’s death in a helicopter crash, several social media users in J&K had to face wrath of their “anti-national” activities. One of such cases was of a J&K Bank employee who was suspended for reacting with a ‘laughing emoji’ on a social media post related to the CDS' death. The other case was filed against the director of Haji Public School, Sabbah Haji after she called CDS “a war criminal”.

In the latest advertisement, J&K Police has clearly mentioned that the “supporting or promoting terror” is punishable under section 13 and 18 of UAPA. “You are what you post, think before you share. Don’t get trapped. Your one wrong click could land you here(jail). You are caught, we know you.” are the other captions used by J&K Police to warn social media users in the latest advertisement.

UAPA is an anti-terror law in which the criminal can be detained without a trial for six months. Under UAPA, after six months, the accused is entitled to “default bail” if investigators fail to submit a chargesheet.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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