FIR Against AMU Professor, Husband For 'Inappropriate' Facebook Post on Kashmir

A complaint was filed by a Hindu Mahasabha leader for the couple's comments on the restrictions imposed on communication in Kashmir.

New Delhi: Police have registered an FIR against an Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) assistant professor and her husband who lives in Jammu and Kashmir for sharing “inappropriate” social media posts on the Kashmir Valley.

According to the Times of India, a Hindu Mahasabha leader filed the complaint on the basis of which the FIR was registered. The leader claimed he found Huma Parveen and husband Nayeem Showkat’s Facebook comments “inappropriate”. The police told the newspaper that “they are probing the case” and will file a chargesheet only if there is “some merit in the allegation”.

The complainant, Ashok Pandey, cited two Facebook posts of the couple to support his case. According to TOI, Parveen’s post said, “Sach me sampark toot jana kitna khatarnak and dukhad hota hai? Chahe Chandrayan ho ya Kashmir (Really, losing connection is so dangerous and painful. Whether it is from Chandrayaan, or from Kashmir).” Showkat’s post read, “Toilet is on your mind and Kashmir is in encounter site.”

The FIR was registered under Sections 153A (promoting enmity) and 505 (2) (statements promoting enmity) of IPC at Aligarh’s Gandhi Park police station. The complaint was filed on November 14.

The FIR says that the couple’s posts were “encouraging” terrorism in Kashmir and “bringing down the morale of the military personnel posted there”. “These posts are threat to the integrity and unity of the nation,” the complaint alleges.

Parveen told TOI that she was “shocked” to hear that a case had been registered. “I was heartbroken, as I was not able to contact my husband during the clampdown in the Valley. I had not written anything inappropriate and only shared a few posts written by others. I have a young daughter and my emotions of losing connection with family can’t be described in words,” she told the newspaper.

Since August 5, when the Centre diluted Article 370 and revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, restrictions on movement and communication have been imposed in the Valley. While postpaid services have been restored, landlines, internet and prepaid services continue to be suspended.

Aligarh SSP Aakash Kulhary said though the FIR was lodged, a chargesheet will be filed only after a “detailed investigation”. He said that the IPC sections were imposed on the basis of screenshots provided by the complainant.

In other parts of India, cases have been registered against people for posting “sensitive” comments on social media about the situation in Kashmir. On August 29, the Jammu and Kashmir police filed a case against five persons who reside in Rajouri and Poonch districts for posting “sensitive remarks” on Facebook. The police said their comments could disturb law and order in the state.

According to reports, the Centre has asked law enforcement agencies to “monitor” social media platforms and identify “those spreading rumours or hateful content online” in the aftermath of the decision to revoke J&K’s special status.

The agencies were asked to “keep a tab” on people circulating false narrative on social media “that might lead to violence in the Valley”.