JEHANGIR ALI | 5 DECEMBER, 2018
J&K Human Rights Body Steps in For Professor
Prof Abdul Bari booked for ‘instigating violence’
SRINAGAR: The State Human Rights Commission has come to the rescue of a professor at a government run degree college who has been booked by the J&K police for ‘instigating violence’ in the restive south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
Dr Abdul Bari, a doctorate from Aligarh Muslim University who unsuccessfully contested 2014 state assembly elections from a south Kashmir constituency and is presently working as assistant professor at Government Degree College Kulgam, was booked by police last week.
A video which showed Dr Bari speaking about the establishment of an Army camp in Kulgam’s Redwani area that has apparently led to the closure of a nearby school, had gone viral on social media, prompting the authorities to act against him.
“The school had remained closed for over a month because people in the area were protesting against the establishment of the camp. In the video I suggested that either the camp be removed or the school,” Dr Bari said.
After the video came to fore, the civil and police administration had asked the college to carry out an internal inquiry into the activities of Dr Bari. However, the college authorities gave him a clean chit.
“The said Assistant Professor has never been found involved in any activity that would prove detrimental to the college discipline or lead to violation of service norms under CSR of JK government,” the letter from the college principal to Deputy Commissioner Kulgam reads.
“It (video) is just an excuse to intimidate me. I am an RTI activist and through RTI cases I exposed lot of corruption like illegal mining, encroachment, embezzlements in school education, rural development, etc,” Dr Bari told The Citizen over phone.
In his letter to the state human rights commission, Dr Bari alleged that he was being targeted for highlighting the wrongdoings of the administration on social media. Acting on the complaint, the state human rights commission has ordered the deputy commissioner Kulgam to file report before it within a week.
“Issue notice to Dy. Commissioner Kulgam to file report in the matter…Take notice, to furnish the requisite information/report/reply/response within the specified time to the Commission. Fail not thereto,” reads the SHRC order.
“Whereas, I am working as an Assistant Prof in GDC Kulgam. Besides, being human sometimes actively put RTIs or work as social activist in my home region.. through RTI cases I opened lot of corruption scams and highlighted them on social media ….” Dr Bari told the commission in his letter.
“Even DC Kulgam plans to book me under PSA, FIR or may be abduct me from my home. Even I am in fear that they will kill and put charges… to unidentified gunmen…from last few days I am in stress regarding that DC Kulgam may ruin my career and put me under bars,” the letter reads.
Despite a clean chit from his college, Bari says police booked him under a “trumped up” FIR at the behest of “influential people” who were allegedly involved in some wrongdoings.
“I am an RTI activist. During the course of my work I have sought information that perhaps didn’t go down well with some influential people for reasons that are known to everyone. Hence, the FIR,” Bari said.