Govt Slaps Anti-Terror Act On Those 'Misusing' Social Media In Kashmir

In a statement released by the police, 'misuse of social media' has been cited as a reason by the Cyber Police Station Kashmir Zone Srinagar

India   |   18 Feb 2020 5:56 AM GMT / Updated : 2020-02-18T13:06:55+05:30
Govt Slaps Anti-Terror Act On Those Misusing Social Media In Kashmir

Image credit: The Greater Kashmir (Representational)

The Jammu and Kashmir Police invoked the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to register a case against various people for defying government orders on the use of social media through proxy servers by getting past Internet firewalls.

Virtual Private Networks, or VPN, allow users to mask their location and browse the internet more securely. In a statement released by the police, 'misuse of social media' has been cited as a reason by the Cyber Police Station Kashmir Zone Srinagar.

"There have been continuous reports of misuse of social media sites by miscreants to propagate the secessionist ideology and to promote unlawful activities," the statement added.

"Social media has remained a favourite tool which largely provides anonymity to the user and also gives wide reach," read the statement.

The FIR was filed "while taking cognizance of social media posts by the miscreants by use of different VPNs, which are propagating rumours with regard to the current security scenario of the Kashmir valley, propagating secessionist ideology and glorifying terror acts/ terrorists", the police added.

They claimed that a lot of "incriminating material" was seized in this connection.

On January 14 the Jammu and Kashmir administration had issued an order banning all social media sites to curb their misuse by miscreants for propagating false information and rumours.

According to an India Today report, the Jammu and Kashmir police had sought an explanation from local journalist Kamran Yousuf regarding his tweet on separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. He had allegedly tweeted, "He desired to be buried in Eidgah".

However, he was allowed to leave after it was found that he was not operating the Twitter handle.

A week ago, two journalists were detained for a day for reporting on JKLF's call for a bandh from February 9-11. The Kashmir Press Club had said that security agencies were "threatening and intimidating" journalists in the Valley.

Meanwhile, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has slammed the move. In a tweet, Owaisi hit out at Union Home Minister Amit Shah and said, "Kashmir mein sab Kuch normal hai, haina?"

Internet Connectivity Extended

On August 5, the Centre cut off internet services in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh moments before imposing a security lockdown. Mobile 2G internet services were restored in a limited way for both prepaid and postpaid connections after over five months on January 25.

However, only 301 "whitelisted" websites could be accessed.

At present, internet service providers (ISP) have been given directions to ensure access to 1,485 white-listed sites only in Jammu and Kashmir and not to any social media applications allowing peer-to-peer communication and virtual private network (VPN) applications.

The administration has extended the 2G mobile data service and fixed-line internet connectivity wherever provided across the union territory till February 24.

Also Read: UN Chief 'Deeply Concerned' Over Jammu & Kashmir, India Rejects Mediation Offer

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