FIR Against 2 J&K News Sites After Army Calls School Story ‘Fake’
The editors of both the publications – The Kashmiriyat and The Kashmir Walla – said they stand by their stories.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police has filed an FIR against two Kashmiri news portals after the army complained against a story regarding a school in Shopian being forced to hold a Republic Day event on 26 January.
Terming the reports by The Kashmir Walla and Kashmiriyat baseless and 'fake news', the Army also submitted a letter by the school principal stating that there was 'no pressure' to hold the Republic Day event.
The FIR filed on Saturday includes IPC Sections 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and Section 505 ( Statements conducing public mischief), as per Hindustan Times.
“Army has said it is fake news and the school authorities have also denied any force by the army. We have filed an FIR against the two portals after the complaint by the army,” Shopian’s superintendent of police (SP), Amritpal Singh said.
On 27 January, both the publications had reported quoting the school's chairman Mohammed Yusuf Mantoo that the army was forcing them for a month to hold the Republic Day event.
But, days before the FIR was filed on 30 January, the school put out a statement signed by the chairman and principal saying, “Local people, students and administration participated in the ceremony. There was not any compulsion on behalf of any army personal [personnel] and police. The celebration ended with peace and pleasure. The news item appeared in news portal Kashmiriyat and Kashmir Walla regarding pressure for organising such events and the hand of security agencies is negated as being totally baseless allegation.”
However, the editors of both the publications said they stood by their stories.
“An FIR has been filed against @tkwmag for reporting story of Shopian school pressured by army to hold republic day function. @TheKashmiriyat reported same later and they are also in FIR. I as editor of @tkwmag stand by our reporting as we have ample evidence to prove so. Support,” tweeted Fahad Shah, editor of The Kashmir Walla.
Salman Shah, editor of The Kashmiriyat said, “I, Salman Shah, the editor of The Kashmiriyat stand by our team for their report of Shopian school celebrating Republic day. The team has worked honestly. I stand by my team & thank people who always support @TheKashmiriyat- it is your voice.”
Since 26 January 2021, FIRs against a total of nine journalists have been filed nationwide with many terming the sequence of events a crackdown on free press.
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