J&K High Court Directs Social Media Platforms to Delete Posts Identifying Bandipora Rape Victim

Social media posts are often about someone's life choices and experience, or how they are feeling, it could provide information about disease management and the escalation of problems.

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Friday ordered Youtube, Facebook and Twitter to remove all posts from their platforms which disclosed the identity of a three-year-old victim of rape in Bandipora district of the state.

Posts, pictures and videos were also shared on social media platforms which lead to the revelation of the infant victim. The court has also directed YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to remove all the content “which tend to disclose the identity and name of the infant victim of the sexual violence.”

A division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Tashi Rabstan also issued notices to five Kashmir valley-based newspapers for disclosing the young girl's identity.

The incident led to protests and clashes in the valley. Over a dozen people were injured in the protests and one injured youth later succumbed to injuries.

The notice has been issued by a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Tashi Rabstan to three Srinagar-based English dailies—Kashmir Observer, Kashmir Vision, Kashmir Glory—and two Urdu newspapers—Daily Afaaq and Daily Ilhaaq under Section 23 of POCSO Act.

The newspapers had revealed the identity of the victim either by publishing pictures or mentioning the name of the victim.

The court has also directed the Information Department of the state to submit a “report regarding the measures taken in terms of Section 44 of J&K POCSO Act, which requires the government to make wide publicity of the provisions of the law aimed at curbing the violence against children.

The Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of the rape case directing the Inspector General of Police (Kashmir zone) to file a status report by Friday.

However, police had sought more time and filed an application through AAG. The court has extended the date of filing the report by ten days.

The police have arrested the accused and a special investigation team (SIT) has been constituted for a speedy probe of the incident.

The Jammu and Kashmir police has already registered a criminal case against unknown people who have disseminated the real name of the victim.

“An FIR stands registered to find out the source or individuals who used real name of the victim and made spread it on social media,” senior superintendent of police, Bandipora, Rahul Malik told News18.

During protests against the rape, the name of the victim was used on the placards and the banners. Even the name of the victim was spread on social media. More than that, fake pictures were used to spread wrong information.

(With Inputs from PTI)