A day after the Union Home Ministry dismissed a report about a protest by about 10,000 people in Kashmir as ‘fabricated and incorrect’, reports are emerging that the government is contemplating legal action against media outlets for reporting baseless news relating to developments in Jammu and Kashmir. According to a news report in IANS, Ministry of Home Affairs may serve legal notices to such news organisations if they are prima facie found projecting "fabricated and provocative" stories leading to law and order situation in the sensitive Valley region of Jammu and Kashmir.
The development comes after some media outlets claimed, attributing ‘facts’ to foreign news agencies, that Valley has been witness to a large scale protest and violence on Friday. Reuters had reported that police used tear gas and pellets to fight back at least 10,000 people protesting Delhi's withdrawal of special rights for Jammu and Kashmir in its main city of Srinagar on Friday.
Following which the Union Home Ministry said that there have been a few stray protests in the Kashmir Valley in the past few days against the scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, and none of these involved a crowd of more than 20 people.
"There have been a few stray protests in Srinagar/Baramulla and none of these involved a crowd of more than 20 people," a ministry spokesperson said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police has also said that the situation in the state was peaceful and no untoward incident has been reported in last one week. "There has been no untoward incident barring minor stone-pelting which was dealt with on the spot and was nipped in the bud," Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh told news agency PTI.
The government also issued a statement, saying the DGP and Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam have requested people not to believe fabricated and motivated news regarding incidents of firing in the Valley.
It said no firing incident has taken place in Kashmir in the past six days, adding the situation is calm and people are cooperative and restrictions are being relaxed to ease the situation.
On Saturday, Srinagar and other towns witnessed good traffic for Eid shopping, it said.
Modi government has scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature, and Ladakh without a legislature.
President Ram Nath Kovind had on Saturday given assent to the legislation on Jammu and Kashmir's bifurcation and the new Union Territories will come into existence on October 31.