Kashmiri photojournalist Masrat Zahra booked under UAPA; #IstandwithMasratZahra trends on Twitter; Shehla Rashid, Jignesh Mewani and others react

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, April 20, 2020, 08:51 PM IST
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Facebook/Masrat Zahra

A Srinagar-based freelance photojournalist, Masrat Zehra, has been booked by Jammu and Kashmir Police under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for "uploading anti-national" posts on social media.

The Cyber Police Station (Kashmir Zone), in their statement, said that the Police received information that Masrat Zahra is uploading "anti-national" posts with criminal intention to induce the youth and to promote offences against public tranquillity.

"The Facebook user is also believed to be uploading photographs which can provoke the public to disturb law and order. The user is also uploading posts that tantamount to glorify the anti-national activities and dent the image of law enforcing agencies besides causing disaffection against the country," police said.

Meanwhile, former Vice-President of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union and Political Activist Shehla Rashid urged Masrat Zahra to stay strong. "Stay strong @Masratzahra and continue the good work. JKP Cyber Crime is headed by an over-enthusiastic cop who wants to get noticed by the Centre. More power to you. And may this attack give your work more visibility and recognition," she wrote.

MLA Jignesh Mewani tweeted, "All progressives must together #IStandWithMasratZahra #standwithanandteltumbde #StandWithGautam & stand with every honest journalist, writers, lawyers, marxists, dalits, women, kashmiri and whoever wrongly booked for doing their job - that too now during a global health crisis!"

On Monday, #IstandwithMasratZahra began trending on Twitter. "When focus should be on defeating #Covid19, Govt looks focused on vendetta, locking up journalists for sharing this on social media, which didn't suit their agenda, that too months ago.. Very sad," a Twitter user wrote.

Another Twitter user said, "A photojournalist in Kashmir has been booked under UAPA and can be labelled as a terrorist, for doing her job. Under the present BJP regime, anyone who raises voice against Govt is called terrorist while Real Terrorist Is Elected As a BJP Parliamentarian!"

Here are some of the Twitter reactions:

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