Karnataka IPS officer faces condemnation for threatening journalist for sharing photo of Kashmiri youth after attack


An IPS officer from Karnataka is facing condemnation on social media after he publicly threatened a journalist for sharing the photo of a Kashmiri youth after he was attacked in Bengaluru.

IPS officer

This was after journalist Fahad Shah shared a photo of a Kashmiri youth, identified as Absar Zahoor Dhar, who was beaten by goons mercilessly in Bengaluru. While sharing the photo, Shah wrote, “Absar Zahoor Dhar, 24-yr-old Kashmiri student has been beaten up in Bengaluru. Dhar, who funds his studies by modelling, says “They could have killed me… I’m living in fear, not attending college as the assailants roam free in front of my house as if nothing happened.”

His post went viral evoking angry reactions from netizens. But this did not go down well with IPS officer Abdul Ahad, who wrote using menacing language, “Mr Fahad Shah Ur discussing a subject of investigation in public domain which is an offence,4 culprits have been arrested and 107 CrPC proceedings on…Ur warned against this illegal behaviour.”

When the journalist replied that he wasn’t indulging in any unlawful act by sharing a news, which was already in public domain, the IPS officer replied by using even more threatening tone. He wrote, “U will be asked to explain…u can give Ur clarification to the investigating officer..as a law abiding citizen IAM sure u will explain Ur stand to the satisfaction of investigating officer…and make sure that Ur not instigating people….it’s a serious offence.”

Ahad faced condemnation from social media users and even politicians for threatening a journalist. Human rights group Amnesty India wrote, “Dear @dcpwhitefield, talking about an assault is not a crime. But police threats to arrest and silence a journalist is a violation of the right to free expression.@pzfahad.”

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted, “Muhtaram,Aali Janab ,Your Excellency of course you can arrest,jail you have all the Taqaat remember you are bound by Constitution of INDIA ,let me refresh your memory Freedom of Expression is still a Fundamental Right which NO DCP can take it from any Indian Samjha.”

Similar reactions poured in from other social media users. Kashmiris have faced attacks across India in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack that killed 45 CRPF soldiers. Although, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged his supporters to not target Kashmiris living in other parts of India, his comments were termed as a ‘too little too late’ exercise.