In anticipation of the Supreme Court's imminent verdict on Article 370, the Jammu and Kashmir Police have intensified their scrutiny of social media activity. Several residents across the region face legal proceedings for posting content flagged as inflammatory and seditious. This move is part of a broader security clamp-down in Kashmir, as the region experiences increased vehicle searches and pedestrian frisking.
Targeted Legal Action
Among those targeted for legal action is a resident from Baramulla, in north Kashmir. While the police have not detailed the specifics of the individual's social media posts, they have deemed them provocative. Legal action has also been reported against three individuals from the Anantnag district in south Kashmir, and two from the Ganderbal district in central Kashmir. In total, approximately nine residents are said to be grappling with the fallout of their social media activities.
The Nature of the Offense
The J&K Police have been explicit in their warnings against the misuse of social media. They emphasize that any content that could stir communal discord, or promote terrorism and separatism, will be treated as a legal offense. The authorities have urged the public to remain vigilant and report any instances of hate speech.
Security Tightening Amid Tensions
This digital crackdown comes against a backdrop of increasing tensions in the region. A policeman, Mohammad Hafiz Chad, was recently shot and injured by militants in Srinagar. This follows previous militant attacks, including the killing of two policemen in October. These incidents have contributed to a heightened sense of insecurity, prompting rigorous security measures.