On June 8, the Srinagar police took to its official Twitter handle to confirm that a probe has been initiated against a reporter of the Caravan magazine, Shahid Tantray, for his mischievous article ‘False Flags’ published on the far-left website on June 1, 2022. It said that the investigation was initiated based on complaints received from many prominent persons in Kashmir.
Sharing the development, the police tweeted, “A complaint has been received from many prominent persons against one reporter namely Shahid Tantray for his article “False Flags” in Caravan. It is alleged that the article names them in a mischievous manner which is akin to giving targets to terror groups and puts them in danger.”
A complaint has been received from many prominent persons against one reporter namely Shahid Tantray for his article “False Flags” in Caravan. It is alleged that the article names them in mischievous manner which is akin to giving targets to terror groups and puts them in danger.— Srinagar Police (@SrinagarPolice) June 8, 2022
The police used the example of Kashmir-based journalist Shujaat Bukhari to emphasize how shoddy and reckless journalism had previously resulted in the assassination of several notable figures, including the ‘Rising Kashmir’ writer. It said that the police had started investigating why the prominent personalities, who filed the complaint, were named in Shahid Tantray’s article ‘False Flags’.
“In past, many prominent personalities like Shujaat Bukhari have been targeted & killed due to similar articles focussed on certain personalities in blogs like Kashmir Fight etc. Inquiry into allegations & reasons for naming these persons has started led by a DySP rank officer,” the Srinagar police wrote in its subsequent Tweet.
On June 1, 2022, the far-left ‘news’ website Caravan Magazine published an article targeting the Indian Army deployed in Kashmir and some prominent BJP leaders and army officials. The article titled “False Flags: The Indian Army’s secretive role in hyper-nationalist protests in Kashmir” by Shahid Tantray inferred that the Indian Army was utilizing ‘power brokers’ in the valley to organize phoney anti-terrorism candle protests in order to portray themselves as nationalists and garner media attention.
The author had also shared the report from his official Twitter handle. He Tweeted, “The Indian Army’s secretive role in hyper-nationalist protests in Kashmir as they try to establish a new generation of politicians, power brokers in the valley, tied indivisibly with the BJP’s vision for the region. I report.”
The Indian Army’s secretive role in hyper-nationalist protests in Kashmir as they try to establish a new generation of politicians, power brokers in the valley, tied indivisibly with the BJP’s vision for the region. I report. https://t.co/SiSjvKbvWF— Shahid Tantray | شاہد تانترے (@shahidtantray) June 1, 2022
In the article, the author named Colonel Sanjay Bhalay, from the 125th battalion of the territorial army, a “politician belonging to BJP, retired civil servants and a couple of people who sat on the fence between journalism and hyper-nationalist bombast” and claimed that they pretend to stage nationalism protests in Kashmir merely for the media.
After the article was published, many prominent people named in the article lodged a complaint with the Jammu and Kashmir police alleging that the manner in which the author had ‘mischievously’ used their names was akin to giving targets to terror groups and putting them in danger. The Srinagar police said that “On the basis of this complaint, an inquiry has been started to find out the real reasons why these personalities were specifically named in the article.”
The Caravan ‘journalist’ Shahid Tantray claims J&K police is harassing him and his family
Meanwhile, after the statement of the Srinagar police, Tantray accused the Jammu and Kashmir Police of issuing threats and consistently harassing him and his family for more than four months because of his reporting.
A statement by The Caravan’s multimedia reporter, Shahid Tantray (@shahidtantray), on facing police harassment.— The Caravan (@thecaravanindia) June 8, 2022
For immediate attention: @pressfreedom@RSF_inter@IndEditorsGuild@PressCouncil_IN pic.twitter.com/3AGPYFgGNw
Tantray said the UT police have been pursuing him since he visited Srinagar in January on reporting assignments commissioned by The Caravan and outlined the months of ‘harassment’ in a long statement released by him on Wednesday, June 8.