Vehicles ply on a Srinagar road after restrictions were eased. (File photo)
Srinagar: With a full-fledged information war breaking out following the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution that gave Jammu and Kashmir special status, several officers of the state have put themselves on the front line of fighting fake news propaganda, mostly emanating from Pakistan.
Among the officers of Jammu and Kashmir busting fake news, the contributions of IPS officer Imtiyaz Hussain and Srinagar District Magistrate Shahid Choudhary are particularly noteworthy.
Pakistan's Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi on Sunday shared a 2017 video with a caption that falsely mentioned that it showed the sufferings of the people of Kashmir due to the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Indian government.
"Let the world see what @narendramodi Govt is doing in #Kashmir
The #Hitler from the East rises while the world sleeps. @realDonaldTrump should consider imposing trade sanctions on India to control this monster before it's too late! #SaveKashmirFromModi #IndianHitlerModi," read the caption of the video.
Hussain did not take long to expose Zaidi's false propaganda.
"This video is from August 2017 and the location is Panchkula, Haryana and not #Kashmir. People seen in the video are followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and were protesting against his arrest. @AliHZaidiPTI," he said in a tweet.
Hussain also shared the links of the same video which was uploaded on YouTube in 2017.
On Monday, he again exposed how the troll army of the spokesperson of the Pakistan Armed Forces operates.
"If you want to understand how Ghafoora (@OfficialDGISPR) troll Army operates,check out this Twitter handle. There are thousands of these fake Twitter handles employed to create False Twitter trends to deceive the world," he tweeted.
Hussain acknowledged that the rumour mills were working overtime to peddle fake news as the enemies of the country are "disappointed by almost zero violence" following the abrogation of Article 370.
"Having dealt mobsters,rioters making murderous assaults on Cops/SFs during unrests of 2008,10,13&16 all sponsored aided abetted by Pakistan& it's payroll community in Kashmir, this time we had to deal with fake news & rumour assaults- again mostly emanating from across border," he said.
Choudhary is also fighting false claims of scarcity of supplies in the Valley and issues related to administration.
Responding to claims that medical shops are shut in the valley and ATMs have run out of money, he said, "As many as 1166 medical shops are open. Cash machines have disbursed Rs 243.44Cr in last 4 days. All sorts of stocks being replenished as demanded. Agree, some people are still facing difficulties. We are trying to address every single problem flagged. Trust. #Srinagar."
He said officials in Jammu and Kashmir were making every possible effort to reduce inconvenience and enhance facilities in the state.