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Allegedly Abdul Bari Naik working as Assistant Professor used social media to promote separatist ideology and to motivate people to use force against State Administration and security forces.
The Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court recently refused to quash the FIR registered against an Assistant Professor in the Higher Education Department for allegedly motivating common people towards separatism and violence against Army, police, and civil administration.
While dismissing the plea filed by petitioner-Abdul Bari Naik working as Assistant Professor at the Geography department in Kulgam Government Degree College challenging the FIR registered against him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar observed,
"The material collected by the investigating agency during the investigation of the case clearly suggests that the petitioner is provoking or at least intending to provoke his audience to use force or violence against the institutions like the army, the police and the civil administration. The video clips also, prima facie, show that the petitioner is trying to promote enmity between the people living in Kashmir and those living in other parts of the country."
Naik has been booked under Sections 153, 353 RPC, and 13 of the ULA(P) Act. The allegations against Naik are that he was motivating college students, general public to indulge in violence against the State Administration while infusing the ideology of extremist groups in them.
Naik challenged the FIR before the high court contending that it was registered out of vengeance and the allegations against him were false.
He submitted that he is an RTI activist and at the time of his appointment as Assistant Professor, a verification report was also furnished by the police stating that there was nothing adverse against him.
He alleged that by his certain RTI applications and his action of bringing the issue of illegal extraction of minerals to the court, the administration was irked and consequently, the impugned FIR was lodged against him.
On the contrary, the counsel for the State government contended that Naik indulged in criminal activities and was misusing and abusing the freedom of expression by taking aid of social media.
He informed the court that the impugned FIR had been registered on the basis of credible reports in respect of Naik which clearly disclosed commission of cognizable offences against him.
Court observed that upon watching the video clips seized during the investigation of the case, it appeared that Naik was conveying to the audience that Kashmiri students are being lynched and brutally tortured in other parts of the country.
In video clips Naik is seen conveying to his audience that the children of Kashmir are being oppressed by the security forces and the army which is hampering the movement of the people and obstructing the children from going to schools, Court observed.
Therefore, having regard to the nature of material supporting the allegations contained in the impugned FIR, Court opined that the prosecution against Naik appeared genuine and accordingly it upheld the impugned FIR.
Case Title: Abdul Bari Naik v. State of J&K and others
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