Imtiyaz Hussain, an officer posted with Jammu and Kashmir police, recently shared a series of tweets slamming BBC Urdu for "justifying" the recent killing of a truck driver in the Anantnag District of the Kashmir Valley.
"There has been biased reporting about the prevailing situation in Kashmir. Reporting based on presumptions and full of exaggerations is a matter of concern. Since 4 August there has been no casualty due to police action. There have been five casualties till date. A terrorist and a policeman were killed during a gun-battle between security forces and terrorists. In another incident, two civilians were killed by terrorists. In a separate incident, some miscreants killed one person", Hussain added.
In this @BBCUrdu story the reporter presumes on behalf of rioters that truck would be carrying security forces,thus killed the truck driver. What a shameful justification of murder by learned journalist!— Imtiyaz Hussain (@hussain_imtiyaz) 27 August 2019
Shame needs to die of shame. RIP Journalism. https://t.co/IavSNwRCs8
The driver was killed on 25 August after his vehicle was allegedly attacked by protestors throwing stones. BBC Urdu, according to the security official, had written that the individuals attacked the vehicle and killed the driver presuming it was carrying military personnel.
He added in his tweet that even though BBC Urdu later deleted the controversial line, he took a screenshot of it.
In another tweet, the official said he was concerned to see how such "exaggerated stories" may influence and motivate Pakistani youth to join militant groups and come to Kashmir.
It’s important to portray a truthful picture of Kashmir situation because a lot of Pakistani boys reading these BBC Urdu exaggerated stories widely shared on social media get motivated to join terrorist ranks & come to Kashmir creating trouble. https://t.co/kYFb8zOLEu— Imtiyaz Hussain (@hussain_imtiyaz) 27 August 2019
Hussain’s tweets were widely shared on social media and a host of netizens backed his thoughts. Many users have accused the BBC of "misreporting" the Kashmir issue, especially since the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
What a mockery in the name of journalism!— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) 27 August 2019
@BBCWorld is this your fact reporting? Creating problems by putting out fake reports? Shameful.— PremaC🇮🇳 (@prema2005) 27 August 2019
Just as the BBC tries to spread hate in India through fake news, so does the same hate in other forms eat into the heart of England. It digs its own grave. Karma never fails.— Uma 🇮🇳 (@Uma_2010) 27 August 2019
However, not everyone seemed to agree with Hussain, and a few users suggested that restrictions have been placed on the media in the region.
Why administration is not allowing media to cover,the real situation— Moosa butt (@KashmiriMoosa) 27 August 2019
The situation in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been tense since the Indian Parliament scrapped the region's special status earlier this month, bifurcating the state into two separate union territories. The new system is likely to come into effect in October.
Ahead of the unprecedented move, the government pushed prohibitory orders in Kashmir and took all the political leaders of regional parties into preventive custody.
India's move caused a diplomatic row with Pakistan and in response, Islamabad expelled New Delhi's envoy to the country, suspended trade, and communication links.