Junaid Bhat, a photojournalist with ‘The Wire’, has been seen eulogising terrorists and glorifying them on his social media accounts. In several of his tweets, he has called the terrorists who wreak havoc in Kashmir as “martyrs” and blamed the Indian troops for eliminating them.
However, it is a startling fact that the same journalist Bhat has been found sharing intimate details about the movements of the Indian Armed Forces and their anti-terror operations carried out in Jammu and Kashmir. On his social media accounts, the photojournalist Bhat has been sharing his pictures of operating dangerously close to the Indian Army personnel, in the process revealing critical information that should have otherwise remained under the wraps
The dichotomy of a terror apologist operating in close proximity to the Indian Armed Forces in Kashmir was highlighted by Abhijit Iyer Mitra on Twitter. Raising suspicion that Bhat may be feeding intelligence input to terrorists, Mitra shared tweets posted by Bhat where he is seen eulogising and extolling terrorists. The Twitter account of Junaid Bhat has since then been deactivated.
1n this is the “photographer”s Instagram. The intel value is huge. He is showing army locations & casualties. His followers actually say “we are seeing what you do on the ground”. How is this any different to Mumbai 26/11 where ISI was updating Kasab through Indian TV reports? pic.twitter.com/1uzijbvfLQ
— Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (@Iyervval) May 6, 2020
A cursory glance at this journalist’s social media accounts reveals how potentially sensitive information he feeds to the outside world about the ongoing operations in the Kashmir Valley, such as troop movements of Indian Army within Kashmir and photos and visuals of the encounter sites.
While the encounter was underway at Beigpora between the security forces and terrorists, including Hizbul chief Riyaz Naikoo, Bhat shared vital information on Facebook about the encounter such as the visuals and videos that could be used by the terrorists to locate the troops and plan an escape.
On Instagram too, Junaid has been quite active in sharing his bold exploits. In one of the posts, even as the Handwara encounter was underway, Junaid passed off pivotal information such as the count and formation of Indian Army personnel carrying out the encounter. He also added that the top security officials among security men have lost contact with their colleagues.
Bhat shared another photo of himself along with the Armed Forces from the site of Handwara encounter.
After the Handwara encounter had concluded, Bhat shared another photo on his Instagram profile of the Indian Army convoy leaving the site with the number of vehicles in the convoy.
Crucial information such as the convoy details and their chosen route is normally withheld from being made public, for the fear of terrorist attack against them. But this sobering reality doesn’t deter Mr Bhat from sharing the particulars on his social media timeline for global consumption, including terrorists operating inside Kashmir and their handlers in Pakistan.
It is pertinent to note that the Indian Army suffered heavy casualties in the Handwara encounter where an Indian army colonel, a major and two soldiers, along with a Jammu and Kashmir Police sub-inspector, were killed in a counter-terrorist operation in Kashmir late on Saturday.
The above instances, where a terror apologist who also happens to be a journalist with ‘The Wire’, shares vital information about the Indian Armed Forces, reminds one of the disastrous journalism that accompanied the horrifying Mumbai 26/11 attacks where the handlers based out of Pakistan were instructing terrorists in Mumbai about the commando movements based on the Indian TV coverage of the attacks.
The Armed Forces would do well to steer clear of such journalists and reporters who do not exercise restrain in sharing information on their social media pages or who might be willing collaborators with the terrorists to either escape encounters or inflict heavy casualties to the security personnel.