Sunday, April 21, 2024

Court refuses to quash UAPA against professor, says he spoke against oppression in Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court recently refused to quash an FIR registered against Abdul Bari Naik, an assistant professor working in a government college who has been accused of intending to provoke common people to use force or violence against the institutions like the army and the police.

The court noted that as per the investigation conducted by the investigating agency, the professor is trying to motivate the common people towards separatism and he is provoking them against the police and security forces as also against district administration, Live Law reported.

The court perused the video clips submitted by the police featuring Naik, to note that prima facie he was trying to promote enmity between the people living in Kashmir and those living in other parts of the country.

“Upon watching the video clips seized during the investigation of the case, it appears that the petitioner is conveying to the audience that Kashmiri students are being lynched and brutally tortured in other parts of the country. In one of the video clips, the petitioner is seen conveying to his audience that the children of Kashmir are being oppressed by the security forces and the army. In yet another video clip, the petitioner is conveying that the army is hampering the movement of the people and it is obstructing the children from going to schools which has led to closure of schools. In yet another video clip, the petitioner is seen pleading cause relating to release of a person who was in custody for indulging in stone pelting and terrorist activities,” said the bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar.

Nail submitted that since he is an RTI activist and he raises the issues of corruption, therefore, the respondents lodged the impugned FIR against him and at best, his acts may amount to violation of Civil Service Rules and in no case, it would amount to disclosure of a criminal offence against the petitioner, according to Live Law.

Naik, aged 41, was arrested on 7 March last year.

Naik’s family had claimed that Naik was arrested because of his public interest activism. They said he had exposed corruption in the government as well as encroachment of village land by the Indian Army.

Naik has PhDs in both geography and women’s studies, and a post-graduation diploma in sociology and geography from Aligarh Muslim University.


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