Kashmiri journalist slapped with FIR over Whatsapp status

Sajid Rana’s crime? He described as ‘martyrs’ schoolchildren who drowned in the Wular lake 15 years ago.

ByNL Team
Kashmiri journalist slapped with FIR over Whatsapp status
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Sajid Rana, a correspondent for local news agency Kashmir News Observer, has been booked by the Jammu and Kashmir police for describing the schoolchildren killed in a boat capsize in the Wular lake in May 2006 as “martyrs” in his Whatsapp status, the Kashmir Walla reported.

Speaking to the news website, Raina said he was “shocked to hear” that an FIR had been lodged against him. “This is really shocking. I don’t know what was wrong with my WhatsApp status,” he told the local news outlet.

Kashmir News Observer has asked the police to explain why they booked its correspondent but has not received a response yet. Complaining that journalists working outside the capital Srinagar in particular are frequently harassed by the police, the agency urged journalists associations such as the Kashmir Press Club and the Editors Guild to take note of the problem and register their protest.

This is not the first time the police have allegedly harassed the news agency’s staffers. They had earlier “questioned” a copy editor of the organisation for tweeting about the lack of facilities at a Bandipora Covid hospital, the Kashmir Walla noted. In March, news reports said there were just two ventilators for a population of over 23 lakh people in North Kashmir.

Also Read :
‘Intimidation is in the air’: How the Indian state is suffocating Kashmir’s journalists
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