STATE TIMES NEWS
Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday asked the state government to file a status report in two weeks about the action taken against separatist leaders Masarat Alam and Asiya Andrabi for raising anti-India slogans and waving Pakistani flags in Kashmir.
The court gave the direction after hearing Senior Additional Advocate General (AAG) Seema Shekhar and Deputy Advocate General (DAG) PS Chandel for the state and senior advocates S S Lehar and Aditya Sharma for petitioners who have sought restrictions on media coverage of activities of separatists.
A division bench comprising justices Hasnain Masoodi and Janak Raj Kotwal granted two weeks time to the state to submit status report with respect to action taken against Masarat and Asiya and also on media reports about the activities of separatists.
It ordered listing of case after two weeks.
The High Court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by two lawyers, Sanjay Verma and Deeraj Choudhary, against circulation of news by media about separatist activities and called for restrictions to be imposed on such coverage under Press Council of India Act.
During the hearing, the petitioners argued that in the rally organised by the separatist leaders, around 150-200 people participated and raised slogans against India.
“But the media has shown it as if the whole state is against India,” Lehar alleged, adding “such news items create law and order problems in the state and peace is vitiated”.
On April 13, a Jodhpur court had also issued notices to Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed and separatist Masarat Alam while allowing a revision petition seeking action against them for alleged treason and statements about secessionists.
The petitioner had referred to the statements of the Chief Minister soon after his oath-taking ceremony about Pakistan allowing peaceful assembly elections in J&K and termed the state government’s action paving the way for the release of Alam as “anti-national.”
The court had also issued notices to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP President Amit Shah on a plea by the petition terming them to be equally responsible because of their “silence” on these statements
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