‘Less reporting on welfare, promoting enmity’: PSA dossier against journalist Sajad Gul

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Among the grounds of detention mentioned in the dossier of journalist Sajad Gul, who has been recently booked under Public Safety Act (PSA), one is that “being a journalist” he is “less reporting about the welfare” of Jammu and Kashmir but rather “promoting enmity”. 

Gul, who is a trainee reporter at The Kashmir Walla, was last week booked under PSA and shifted to Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu immediately after he was granted bail by the court in other cases registered against him.

According to the dossier, signed by the Deputy Commissioner of Bandipora, the contents of which are in the possession of The Kashmir Walla, the police had apprehension that Gul may get bailed out by the court of law that will prove “fatal” for a peaceful atmosphere. Therefore his detention under PSA was “imperative”. 

“You are presently under police remand and there is every apprehension that you may get bailed out from the Hon’ble Court of law thus will prove fatal for peaceful atmosphere, tranquillity, law and order of the nation, as your release at this stage will be a threat not only for Bandipora area but for the whole valley,” it reads.

The dossier adds that therefore, “in view of the enumerated facts and grounds, your detention under J&K Public Safety Act has become imperative.”

The dossier also mentions Gul’s video posts that he had uploaded on social media following the killing of a militant Saleem Parray in Srinagar.

The dossier said that the day when the most wanted militant Saleem Parray was killed in Shalimar- Srinagar, Gul uploaded the videos of anti-national slogans by some people, mostly relatives, at the residence of the slain in Hajin, thereby trying to “disrupt the peace”.

“His activities are prejudicial to the security and sovereignty of the country,” it said.

Gul was arrested on 6 January after he posted the video on his social media handle Twitter after returning from reporting.

On 8 January, Bandipora police in a statement accused Gul of trying to disrupt “peace and tranquillity” of the region, saying that he is involved in tweeting fake news in order to provoke people against the government.

The dossier against Gul said that he, being well educated, uses social media as a tool to “provoke” people against government establishments.

The dossier said that the internet has made the world a global village and Gul uses it as a tool by making statements on social media which causes “mischief and promotes enmity”.

“Being a journalist you are less reporting about the welfare of UT rather promoting enmity. You are running a twitter account for your nefarious designs. You are fond and have a natural tendency to support your anti-national, anti-social desires, so as to cherish your dream,” the dossier against Gul reads.

Gul has also been accused of being in search of anti-national, anti-social tweets and has remained a “negative” critique towards UT policies.

The dossier reads that the statements, stories covered by Gul are readily available on social media platforms that portray his intentions clearly. 

The dossier said Gul’s “criminal intentions” can be gauged by the cases registered against him.

Against Gul three police cases were registered at Hajin Police station in Bandipora district in the last one year under First Investigation Report (FIR) numbers 12/2021, 79/2021, and 02/2022.

One among those that was registered after he reported a gunfight at Gund Jahangir in Banidpora. Another was registered after he reported a demolition drive carried out in Shahgund neighbourhood in February 2021. He was accused of hindering the demolition process while he reported a news story for The Kashmir Walla.

Following the death of Saleem Parray, in his native village Hajin anti-India protests and sloganeering was reported. A case, as per police, was registered regarding the incident and Gul’s name also surfaced in it. 

Police said that Gul’s activities to be “prejudicial to the sovereignty, security, integrity, peace and tranquillity,” of the Union of India and if he is kept free at large will surely “act against the peaceful atmosphere” which has been established by the tireless efforts of the law enforcing agencies. 

“You may play a key role in instigating, provoking not only the youth of your locality but of the whole valley as you have a good number of followers on social media,” the dossier reads.

 The dossier said that Gul being well qualified, it was easy for him to “brainwash” people easily against a government and his aim and object seemed to “destabilise” the government.

“You have developed relations with various anti national gangs being operated from across the border and are working as a mere puppet under the banner of Journalism to fulfil the desires of like minded people,” it said. 

“Preventive detention is devised to afford protection to society and the object is not to punish a person but to intercept and prevent him from doing nefarious activities,” the dossier reads.

International and national media bodies have strongly condemned Gul’s imprisonment under the PSA and have demanded that the government should release him immediately.

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