Sunday, December 3, 2023

Kashmiri journalist Sajad Gul gets bail

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Kashmiri journalist Sajad Gul, arrested for posting a protest video on social media, was granted bail on Saturday after spending nine days in prison.

Gul, one of the young journalists constantly harassed by Indian authorities, was officially arrested on 6 January.

According to family, he was detained in an army raid on 5 January night at around 10pm and was later handed over to police.

Gul, a journalism student and a trainee journalist at Kashmir Walla, was arrested for posting a video of the anti-India protest following the killing of Salim Parray, a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) militant on social media platforms.

The charges against Gul are 120B (party to criminal conspiracy), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), and 505B (fear or alarm to the public) sections of the Indian penal code (IPC).

Police submitted a report in court, accusing Gul of using his social media account to disseminate information “against the national interests” on the “dictation and guidance” from Pakistan based agencies, Kashmir Walla reported.

The arrest triggered international condemnation. Several media watchdogs demanded his release.

The police said that Sajad is “involved in tweeting fake news” in order to provoke people against the government.

“Sajad Gul is always in search of anti- government news and uploads tweets, which are not based on facts in order to provoke the people against the government and to spread enmity against the country among people,” police accused in a statement following his arrest.

Last year, Gul was booked under FIR12/2021 with sections 147(punishment for rioting), 447 (punishment for criminal trespassing), and 353(assaulting public servant) for reporting the high-handedness of a government official.

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