Masrat Zahra, a female photojournalist of 26 years from Srinagar, has been booked by police in Indian-administered Kashmir for getting involved in “anti-national” activities on social media under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
She has been accused of posting anti-national posts on Facebook, with criminal intentions to persuade the youth.
Srinagar’s Cyber Police Station on Saturday said in a statement that it received information via reliable sources that one user of Facebook who goes by the name ‘Masrat Zahra’ is uploading anti-national posts with criminal intention.
It further said that it is believed that the Facebook user is also uploading photos that may provoke the public to disturb law and order. Further adding it said that the user is uploading posts that are praising anti-national activities.
On Saturday the police have filed an FIR against her and the investigation is on. She was asked to summon before the police on Tuesday.
Masrat Zahra, who was summoned in for interrogation to the cyber cell on Tuesday, wrote on Twitter: “I met the concerned police officials of the case and answered their questions regarding the investigation, I have not been arrested and the investigation is going. Thanks all for the support.”
Zahra had freshly shared photographs she had taken for a story back in December 2019. In the story, Zahra talks about Arifa Jan, whose husband was purportedly killed by the Indian Army in 2000.
In her post, she said that Arifa suffers panic attacks regularly for nearly 2 decades since her husband was gunned down by the Indian army in 2000. Further, she said that when Arifa thinks of her husband she can still hear the gunshots and her husband’s blood-soaked body.
Zahra also quoted Arifa to say that the man was shot 18 times.
Individuals can be prescribed as terrorists by the government as allowed by the UAPA. It also provides power to the federal National Investigation Agency to probe such cases. Under this law, if a person gets charged, then a jail for up to seven years is imposed.
A first information report (FIR) has also been filed against Zahra below Section 505 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which punishes those who persuade others to commit an offense against the state or public peace.