Saleem Iqbal Qadri

Student-photographer, who was labelled as ‘informer’!

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Decides to drag the abusers to court

Sopore: Masrat Zahra, a young student photo-journalist from Hawal Srinagar had to face ‘social media harassment’ after a photograph of her taken during a search operation in Shopian was shared widely, out of context, portraying her as “Informer”.

Talking to ‘Kashmir Images’, Masrat Zahra who is currently pursuing Masters in Convergent Journalism from Central University of Kashmir said, “ the photograph in which I have been labelled as an “informer” was taken on first April during a search operation in Shopain and I had uploaded the same photograph on my Facebook account on May, 15.”

“On the same evening I was shocked to find that some Facebook users have shared my photograph out of context and portrayed me as an “Informer” and one of the Facebook account had captioned my photograph as “Girl with Army personnel’s … I think she is Mukhbir” and the same was shared by several Facebook pages with the same caption,” Masrat told Kashmir Images.

On 16 May, defending herself Masrat Zahra wrote a post on her Facebook wall, “Last night I uploaded my picture from a gun battle site and within no time people circulated it on their pages and walls with the caption “MUKHBIR” this is really shocking, the fateful day I was seriously injured my leg and shoulder got  serious injuries despite of that I did my job and clicked picture with a broken arm …. It is shameful and depressing.”

“This “Mukhbir” word has traumatized me and my family. My mother is too worried,” said Masrat, adding, she even feels insecure while walking in her own colony.

Masrat said, “I had contacted Kashmir Photojournalist Association (KPA) asking them to help me face this madness of some ignorant people but they refused to offer any kind of help  saying I am a student and a freelance journalist and  the KPA has no guidelines for Freelance Journalists.”

“I have consulted advocate Parvez Imroz for filling a lawsuit in High Court Srinagar against those Facebook and WhatsApp group users who defamed me,” said Masrat.

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