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J&K Authorities Tighten Security Ahead Of Article 370 Verdict

With the Supreme Court's Article 370 verdict imminent, Jammu and Kashmir intensifies security measures, taking legal action against social media users, prompting concerns and criticism from political figures.

Security forces in Jammu and Kashmir
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As the Supreme Court's imminent verdict on Article 370 looms, Jammu and Kashmir authorities have escalated security measures, particularly on social media, resulting in legal action against five users for alleged dissemination of 'rumours' and 'hateful' content. The security measures include increased deployment of police and paramilitary forces, along with checkpoints for monitoring vehicular and passenger movement. In a recent security review meeting chaired by Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Vijay Kumar, a stress on preventive and punitive actions against those spreading misinformation was emphasized. The police, however, have not disclosed the specific content leading to the legal action, according to media reports.

An official release highlighted instructions to district heads to stay vigilant and take necessary actions against individuals engaging in mischief, misinformation, and misuse of social media. Notably, two users each in Budgam and Ganderbal districts, along with one in Baramulla, have been booked, though the details of the content prompting the legal action were not provided.

Expressing concerns, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti alleged that the police were seeking lists of her party workers and urged the Supreme Court to prioritize the country's integrity over any political agenda.

ADGP Kumar urged officers to prevent mischievous elements from disturbing peace and harmony. In response, Budgam Police confirmed strict measures against those misusing social media, with two individuals booked and presented before the magistrate. Ganderbal Police initiated legal action against two individuals for sharing hateful content on social media platforms, identified as Waseem Mushtaq Malik and Aadil Ahmed Rather. Another individual, Bilal Ahmad Wani, faced similar charges.

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