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Fake news: J&K HC blasts media claims of minors’ illegal arrests post August 5

  • Blasts The Washington Post, The Quint, The Scroll and The Caravan for their fabricated news on alleged illegal arrest of children.
  • J&K HC exposes biased media’s attempts to foment trouble after scrapping of the Article 370

New Delhi: The Juvenile Justice Committee (JJC) of Jammu and Kashmir High Court has exposed claims in a section of the media that children had been illegally arrested in the border state whose “special status” under the Article 370 was scrapped by Parliament in August and which was divided into two Union Territories.

Bogus media, fake news: Abolition of Article 370 and special status of Jammu and Kashmir has provided a ‘goldmine’ of opportunity to bogus media, news fabricators and falsehood paraders across India and overseas.

The JJC, comprising four judges, in its report submitted recently to the Supreme Court, said that of the 144 minors arrested, all but two had been released. The remaining two remaining were lodged at juvenile homes.

The JJC, comprising Chairman Justice Ali Mohammed Magrey, had three members, Judges Dheeraj Singh Thakur, Sanjeev Kumar and Rashid Ali Dar. It was formed following a directive from a Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on September 20, after two child rights activists, Enakshi Ganguli and Shanta Sinha claimed, on the basis of some media reports, that a large number of children had been illegally arrested in the state.

The September 26 JJC report to the Supreme Court, however, refuted claims made by The Washing Post, The Quint, Scroll and The Caravan, saying that “it has not received any complaint or representation or anything like that from any individual, lawyer, human rights activists, group persons, organizations, civil society members or any other person complaining about arrest of any juvenile.”

In its observations, the JJC said the report about an 11-year-old boy from Pampore was “generated with the intention to malign the police and to create a story which may have an element of sensationalism.”

Referring to the Soura incident of Srinagar, it said The Washington Post report did not indicate the source “which quoted this incident to check its veracity.”

The Quint report on a Baramulla incident appears to be “solely based on fictional imagination…it appears very strange  that international print media and online news portals could carry this false report, but not the local media.”

Also, “The Washington Post report of September 30 about two boys was ‘wrong reporting’ as it did not provide specifics about the alleged incidents.”

The Washington Post report of August 9 was “false and baseless” as no such report about arrest of a minor has been reported.

And, The Scroll report of August 28 “suggests as if police are a predator on the prowl…this is nothing but attempt to demoralize the police.”

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