Kashmiri journalist Sajad Gul, who had been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) on 16 January, remains under detention due to apprehensions that he may be granted bail by the court, the Jammu and Kashmir Police has said.
“You are presently under police remand and there is every apprehension that you may get bailed out from the Hon’ble Court of law thus will prove fatal for peaceful atmosphere, tranquillity, law and order of the nation, as your release at this stage will be a threat not only for Bandipora area but for the whole valley,” an official dossier states, The Kashmir Wallah reported.
Gul, who was working as a trainee reporter at The Kashmir Walla, was booked under the PSA and shifted to Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu, a day after he was granted bail by the court in another case against him.
The document outlining the reasons for his detention states that he reports 'less' about the welfare of the Union territory and is negative in his critique of J&K's policies:
"You have always made/ tweeted controversial statements on social media and being a journalist, you are less reporting about welfare of UT (Union Territory) rather promoting enmity. You remain in search of anti-national/ anti-social tweets and have remained a negative critique towards UT Policies... You act as self-proclaimed messiah of terrorists and their families and often use to raise Issues which harm the national interests.”The dossier, as quoted by The Kashmir Wallah
The Case Against Gul
Gul had been arrested on 6 January, after he was booked under criminal conspiracy and other charges for posting a video of a family shouting anti-India slogans after their kin was killed in a gunfight in Srinagar.
In the video, the family members could be seen protesting against the killing of alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Salim Parray, who was gunned down 3 January.
A police statement in this regard had said, “The said person (Sajad Gul) under the garb of a journalist is habitual of spreading disinformation, false narratives through different social media platforms in order to create ill will against the government… his overall activities are prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and unity of India.”
On 15 January, the journalist was granted conditional bail by a local Bandipora court. The police was directed to release Gul against a bond of 30,000 rupees if he was not involved in any other crime, The Kashmir Walla reported.
Gul, however, was not released as he had been named in another case related to rioting.
A day later, he was arrested under the PSA.
The PSA is a preventive detention law under which a person is taken into custody to prevent them from acting harmfully against "the security of the state or the maintenance of the public order" in Jammu and Kashmir. Under the PSA, a person can be detained for a period of three to six months without trial.
Several journalists have protest against Gul's incarceration under the PSA. The action was also condemned by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Asia.
(With inputs from The Kashmir Wallah.)