Srinagar, India —
Jammu and Kashmir Police on Monday filed a First Information Report (FIR) against various social media users in the Valley for misusing the social networking sites/applications.
The charges, framed under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), are not against all social media users in the Valley but only those misusing social media in J&K via VPNs.
“The FIR has been registered while taking cognizance of the social media posts by the miscreants by use of different VPNs, which are propagating rumours with regards to the current security scenario in the Kashmir valley, propagating secessionist ideology and glorifying terror acts/terrorists. A lot of incriminating material has also been seized in this regard,” Police said.
Sources say that the FIR has been filed to deter against the use of social media as a lot of rumour-mongering is taking place on these sites.
Recently, rumours about the death of Hurriyat Conference’s Syed Ali Shah Geelani were doing rounds on social media. Consequently, 2G data services were snapped in the Valley.
Although the internet services were resumed within 12 hours, the rampant use of VPNs, bypassing firewalls to facilitate access to social media, has become an issue for the police.
The J&K administration has directed internet service providers (ISPs) to ensure access to 1,485 white-listed sites only and block popular social media sites/applications. They have also been asked to strengthen their firewalls to ensure VPNs are blocked.
Pertinently, the administration has continued with its ban on high-speed mobile internet (3G/4G) while extending 2G mobile data service across the Union Territory till February 24, 2020.