- The two news portals had claimed that a school in Shopian was forced by the army to hold the Republic Day function.
- After a complaint by the army, the Jammu and Kashmir police have registered an FIR against two news portals for a story of a school in south Kashmir’s Shopian alleging that it was forced to hold a Republic Day function on January 26.
- The army in the complaint on Saturday has alleged that the reports by the news portals were baseless and ‘fake-news’. A letter by the principal of the school named Jamia Sirajul Uloom, that was submitted along with the army’s complaint also stated that there was ‘no pressure’ by the army to organize Republic Day celebrations.
Police officials said that they have filed the FIR on Saturday under sections 153 and 505 after receiving a complaint from the Company commander of the army’s 44 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) at Imam Sahib in Shopian against online news portals The Kashmir Walla and Kashmiriyat.
“Army has said it is fake news and the school authorities have also denied any force by the army. We have filed an FIR against the two portals after the complaint by the army,” Shopian’s superintendent of police (SP), Amritpal Singh said.
- The Kashmir Walla and Kashmiriyat had carried byline stories on January 27 quoting the chairman of Jamia Sirajul Uloom, a private school in Shopian, that they were allegedly pressured to celebrate the Republic Day event by the army. Attempts to contact the chairman M Yousuf Mantoo on his phone did not succeed.
Editor of The Kashmir Walla, Fahad Shah said that they stood by their story. “We stand by our reporting and we have ample evidence to prove that when the time will come. We spoke to the senior most official of the school who said everything on record. Now after three days they have remembered that it was ‘fake news’. The school authorities have also become unreachable,” Shah said.
- He said that after they broke the story, the other news portal also talked to the school authorities and reported it. He said that they are used to getting calls and summons from the authorities for the work they are doing.
News editor of Kashmiriyat, Qazi Shibli said that they were honest in their reporting. We reported what the school authorities said and also attempted to get the reaction of the army officials who were not immediately available for comment. We had even mentioned updating the story in case the army responds but nobody called us from their side,” he said.
The school was in news in October last year after three teachers were booked under the Public Safety Act after reports emerged that a few of its students and alumni were found involved in militant activities over a period of time.
Inspector General of Police, Vijay Kumar had said that three of the institution’s teachers were booked under PSA and action under section 107 CrPC was also taken against six of its teachers.
The IG had said that the school was affiliated to Jamaat-e-Islami which was denied by the chairman of the school, M Yousuf who had said that it was an independent institution.