Police “Intimidate, Harass” News Website Editor In Kashmir

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Police “Intimidate, Harass” News Website Editor In Kashmir
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“Later, they made note of most of my e-mail addresses, phone numbers and family members, and also took the password of my Facebook profile to which my website’s page (followed by 300,000 people) is linked. They asked me to cooperate or they would “deal with me the way police deals”.

The founder-editor of a Kashmir-based website on Thursday said that he was “harassed and intimidated” by Jammu and Kashmir police and accused of “instigating youth towards violence”.

“I urgently want to bring the Kashmir media fraternity’s attention to this fresh fact that after banning Kashmir Reader, Jammu and Kashmir police yesterday (October 19) summoned me (J and K Now) at its cyber cell in Srinagar where its three officers (Mr. Riyaz, Mr. Raina and another officer) harassed and intimidated me for over three hours. My ailing father was accompanying me,” said Vijdan Kawoosa, founder-editor of www.JandKNow.com.

He said that police summoned him over a video statement of militant outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen that he had published over a month ago as “part of routine news”.

“Being journalists, we receive thousands of e-mails from every section of the society, including the police and the government itself, requesting publication. Similarly, I received the anonymous e-mail by Hizb.”

He said police was now accusing him of “sympathizing with the militant group” and being “on their payrolls” or “having links”, “only because my website was the first to share its statement then, which was later copied by media based in Kashmir and elsewhere.”

“These police officers shouted at me, saying that the news post on my news site J and K Now would “instigate youth towards violence and I was an equal party to the crime”. They threatened to make a case on me if I did not reveal the person I was in ‘contact’ with among the militant group. Even though I gave them open access to my e-mail account on which I had received the mail, they continued to intimidate me,” said Kawoosa.

“Later, they made note of most of my e-mail addresses, phone numbers and family members, and also took the password of my Facebook profile to which my website’s page (followed by 300,000 people) is linked. They asked me to cooperate or they would “deal with me the way police deals”.

“They have seized my driving license and asked me to report before an SP at 10 am today (October 20) at the same venue.”

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