Days after calling reports of unrest in Srinagar's Soura 'fabricated', MHA admits to incident, but maintains no bullets were fired

  • Ministry of Home Affairs wrote on Twitter that 'miscreants mingled with people returning home after prayers at a local mosque' in Srinagar

  • This comes only days after the government calling reports of protests and violence in Jammu and Kashmir 'fabricated and incorrect'

  • Indian and international media organisations reported unrest in Jammu and Kashmir ever since the Indian parliament approved the revocation of Article 370

Days after calling reports of protests and violence in Jammu and Kashmir “fabricated and incorrect”, the Ministry of Home Affairs wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that “miscreants mingled with people returning home after prayers at a local mosque” in Srinagar’s Soura, leading to violence but not resulting in the firing of bullets.

Protests erupted last week in Soura, a locality in Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital Srinagar after the Central Government abrogated Article 370, a move which revoked the special status accorded to the state. However, the information disseminated by various government bodies and departments were contradictory to the news reports and videos that claimed that forces opened fire and used tear gas to quell protests in Srinagar.

Last week, videos of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval visiting various parts of Jammu and Kashmir, including Srinagar and Anantnag, interacting with locals went viral on social media, while the Ministry of Home Affairs and Jammu and Kashmir Police urged people to not believe “fabricated and motivated news”.

The Twitter handle of the Indian mission at Geneva had even urged people to follow accounts of agencies and authorities based in Jammu and Kashmir for “authentic information”.

Indian and international media organisations like BBC, Reuters and Al-Jazeera, reported unrest in Jammu and Kashmir ever since the Indian parliament approved the revocation of Article 370 and splitting the state into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

A Reuters report from 9 August quoted a police official and two witnesses as saying that “police used tear gas and pellets” to fight back at least 10,000 people in Srinagar protesting the scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. This was followed by another demonstration on Sunday in Srinagar.

However, the government on 10 August stated that no protest of more than 20 people took place anywhere in Kashmir.

Al-Jazeera reported that security forces “fired tear gas and shot live rounds in the air to disperse mass protests” in Kashmir. The report said that the footage obtained by Al-Jazeera also showed demonstrators carrying black flags and placards saying “We want freedom” and “Abrogation of Article 370 is not acceptable”.

BBC also put out a video on Saturday saying, “Thousands of people took to the streets in Srinagar after Friday prayers, in the largest demonstration since a lockdown was imposed”.

The government, according to The Economic Times, has contacted Al-Jazeera and BBC over the videos, saying that the news was “fabricated” and asking if they have any evidence to prove that the videos were real. HuffPost India and The Wire also reported a rise in pellet gun injuries at Srinagar’s Sri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital.

Updated Date: Aug 13, 2019 23:07:12 IST