Journalist Sajad Gul booked under PSA a day after getting bail in criminal conspiracy case


Journalist Sajad Gul was booked under the Public Safety Act on Sunday, a day after a Jammu and Kashmir court granted him bail in connection with a criminal conspiracy case, The Kashmir Walla reported.

Inspector-General of Police Kashmir zone Vijay Kumar confirmed to The Kashmir Walla about the charges, and said Gul has been to sent Kot Bhalwal Jail in Jammu.

On January 15, the court had directed the police to release Gul against a bond of Rs 30,000 if he was not involved in any other crime. The court had also directed Gul to cooperate with the investigating officer and not to leave the Union Territory without permission.

However, Gul could not be released as his name had cropped up in another first investigation report registered against him earlier in January under section 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence commit­ted in prosecution of common object) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

Gul’s counsel Umair N Ronga has said that he will move the Jammu and Kashmir High Court for quashing of the Public Safety Act charges after they come to know of the grounds on which the journalist has been booked.

The journalist first was arrested on January 6 after he posted a video of family members and relatives of Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Salim Parray protesting against his death in a gunfight on the outskirts of Srinagar.

The video posted on his Twitter account on January 3 showed women shouting anti-government slogans during the protests.

His arrest had been widely condemned, with several journalists’ bodies demanding his release and expressing concern about the crackdown on journalists in Kashmir.

A police officer in Bandipora, who did not wish to be identified, had told Scroll.in they were acting against Gul’s social media presence rather than his news reports.

In February last year, the journalist had been charged with “rioting, trespassing, and assault” for an article he wrote for The Kashmir Walla on February 9, according to the website. In the article, the villagers of Bandipora had alleged that they were being “harassed and threatened” by Tehsildar Hajin Ghulam Mohammad Bhat over the alleged demolition drive in the area.

Later in October, Gul was summoned at Hajin police station in Bandipora district for questioning in connection with a news report and a video he posted on Twitter.

The article, published in Mountain Ink magazine, and the video had reported the claims of the family members of a 25-year-old man who was killed in a gunfight. The family members had said that Imtiyaz Ahmad Kakroo was innocent and was killed in a “fake encounter” with the police.


Also read:

Sajad Gul is not the only Kashmiri journalist to face police action – but he was the most vocal



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