‘Wanted’ posters appear in Kashmir in search of journalist Gowhar Geelani

Posters offering rewards for information about Kashmiri journalist Gowhar Geelani have appeared in several towns in Jammu and Kashmir after a court warrant was issued for the “disappeared” journalist. A group named Civil Society Volunteers Group of Kashmir displayed the posters in various cities in UT including Srinagar, Baramulla, Pulwama and Shopian. The posters were printed in English and Urdu.

The English poster reads: ‘Fugitive ‘suspected journalist’ and essentially stenographer of terrorism and insurgency vehicles, Gowhar Geelali. Anyone giving up their whereabouts would be rewarded with ₹50,000. The identity of the informant would be kept secret”. The posters also gave an email id to which any information about Geelani can be sent.

The posters include a photograph of Geelani and a copy of the arrest warrant issued by the court.

The posters appeared after Shopian Court issued a warrant for him because he failed to appear in court after the court sent him a notice. Shopian First Class Executive Magistrate’s Court issued an arrest warrant on February 12 for Gowhar due to his failure to appear in court.

Addressing the order to the station officer Heerpora, the court said: “In view of the non-appearance of Gowhar Nazir Geelani after having served him with a notice under article 107/151 CRPF, dated 03 February 2022, you are ordered to arrest and produce the person before this court on February 19, 2022, in order to maintain public peace and tranquility within the jurisdiction of this court”.

The arrest warrant.

The court had issued a subpoena to Gowhar, requiring him to appear in court on February 7 for posting information on social media about a terrorist attack on a police officer on February 1. Geelani has since fled.

A complaint has been filed against Gowhar Geelani regarding his February 1 tweets about a terrorist attack when Assistant Deputy Inspector Shabir Ahmad Wagay was shot dead by terrorists in Amshipora. According to the subpoena issued to him, he posted this information on social media immediately after the attack which would have “endangered the life of the injured person and other people”.

“Furthermore, the release of your information has raised serious security and breach of peace concerns,” the summons added. He said: “You have acted in a manner prejudicial to the public interest which tends to disturb public peace, tranquility and safety and I have strong apprehensions that you will continue with such activities which will impact on the maintenance of peace and public tranquility in my jurisdiction.

Shabir Ahmad Wagay was hospitalized and survived the attack.

Who is Gowhar Geelani?

Gowhar Geelani is a freelance journalist who has written for the BBC, DailyO and Scroll.in, and a few others. He also spent several years in Germany working for Deutsche Welle. He also writes for Dawn, the Pakistani media house.

Geelani has been repeatedly accused of spreading hatred and supporting terrorists. His Twitter posts reveal his views on Kashmir and Pakistan. In a tweet on August 20, 2016, he said: “The only weapons in Kashmir are those of the Indian military occupation. Yes, we are proud Kashmiri Muslims. Just like you are Hindu.

Tweeter

Another tweet posted on September 21, 2016 reads: “Pakistani Prime Minister says brutality & occupation cannot deter Kashmir people from demanding freedom from brutal Indian occupation #UNGA”

Tweeter

On March 2, 2015, he tweeted: “Pro-India Politicians in Kashmir are ‘Occupation minions’ say resistance groups”

Tweeter

Geelani was also warned in 2020 for “glorifying terrorism in the Kashmir Valley” via social media posts. Several others have also been arrested by Jammu and Kashmir police for recently promoting views on terrorism. On February 5, Fahad Shah, editor of the Srinagar-based news portal The Kashmir Walla, was arrested by Jammu and Kashmir police for anti-national actions and spreading inflammatory information on the social network Facebook. .

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