In a circular issued on July 31, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Special Branch of Kashmir has ordered that in cases where an individual is involved in law and order issues of stone-pelting and other ‘crime prejudicial to the security of the state’ will be denied security clearance for passports, government jobs, and public schemes in J&K.
‘All the field units of CID SB Kashmir are hereby directed to ensure that during verification related to passport, services and any other verification to government services/schemes, the subjects involvement in law and order, stone pelting cases and other crime prejudicial to the security of the state be specifically looked into and same must be corroborated from the local police station records,’ said the order issued by the senior superintendent of police (SSP), CID.
The order remains vague in many senses and uses words that can be interpreted in more than one sense and have the potential to be misused by the police against those who they don’t find agreeable.
The order uses the phrase ‘crime prejudicial to the security of the state’ which leaves a space for gross misinterpretation of even simple protests by the people in J&K. The politics of employing vague language has been used by the police and other state actors to implicate those who are critical of the ruling regime.
The order further mentions that any digital evidence like CCTV footage, photographs, videos and audio clips, quadcopter images available in the records of the police, security forces, and security agencies be also referred to during the verification process. The order has led to questions about the extensive surveillance that the Indian government and security forces employ in J&K.
Meanwhile, the Vice-President of National Conference (NC) Omar Abdullah, opposed the order, and said that ‘an ‘adverse police report’ cannot be a substitute for being found guilty in a court of law.
An “adverse police report” can not be a substitute for being found guilty in a court of law. A year and a half ago J&K police were able to create an ‘adverse police report’ to justify my detention under the Public Safety Act that would never have stood up to legal challenge. https://t.co/d9SIxoJe14
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) August 1, 2021
A year and a half ago J&K police were able to create an ‘adverse police report’ to justify my detention under the Public Safety Act that would never have stood up to legal challenge,’ the NC leader wrote on Twitter.