Many people in the mob were seen holding the flag of terror organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
As the government prepares for the challenge of ensuring peace in Kashmir on Independence Day, two news reports from international media organisations are generating a lot of heat on social media.
Several netizens have blamed that both the reports reek of bias against India and present a distorted picture of the situation on the ground in the Valley.
The first report is from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the other from Al Jazeera. The two reports, containing "exclusive" videos, were published on August 9.
According to the reports, when the curfew was lifted last Friday for the first time since the abolition of Article 370, a mob of thousands of people protested against the Indian government in Srinagar. This, claim the reports, happened even as there is an unprecedented deployment of troops in the Valley and the entire area is under the complete control of security forces.
According to both these reports, police used tear gas shells and also opened fire to disperse the agitated mob who took to the streets to oppose the government's decision to abolish special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The government on Tuesday admitted to incidents of stone pelting in the Soura area of Srinagar, but emphasised that no bullets were fired.
While an investigation established that the video is from Srinagar - and not Pakistan-occupied Kashmir as many people are claiming - there are several discrepancies in these reports which raise questions about their intent.
Missing terror angle in protests
The Al Jazeera report refers to India's democratically elected government as "Hindu-nationalist government" but fails to highlight that banned terrorist organisations may have backed the protest march. There is clear evidence regarding this in the video published by both Al Jazeera and the BBC.
Many people in the mob were seen holding the flag of terror organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). While the Al Jazeera report observed "demonstrators carrying black flags and placards" with slogans "We want freedom" and "Abrogation of Article 370 is not acceptable", it overlooked the presence of JeM and "Wilayat al-Hind" flags and banners in the video.
Both JeM and its chief Maulana Masood Azhar have been listed under the sanctioned entities by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for their involvement in terror activities and association with al Qaeda and Haqqani Network.
Not only this, the crowd can be clearly heard chanting "Musa-Musa, Zakir Musa'', referring to the slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Musa who was killed in an encounter in May this year. Both the reports chose to ignore this significant fact.
There is concrete evidence to prove that the terror organisations have been fueling unrest in the Valley. On May 10, 2019, the Islamic State (IS) announced that it has established a "province" in India.
Islamic State's official mouthpiece 'Amaq News Agency' had claimed that in its new province "Wilayat al-Hind" (IS name for India), it had inflicted casualties on Indian soldiers in Amshipora in the Shopian area of Jammu and Kashmir.
Presenting just one side of picture?
In its report, the BBC claimed to have "witnessed the police opening fire" and showed a purported video where gunshots can be heard while people are engaged in a clash with security personnel.
However, the video does not show any policeman firing the shots even as the sound of firing can be clearly heard in the background. On the contrary, in one frame where it does show the presence of security forces, we can see that there is no visible altercation.
So the video fails to establish who fired those gunshots which can be heard in the background. Is it possible that the firing may have been done by terror elements present in the mob?
Al Jazeera has mixed up things earlier
Al Jazeera has been covering developments on both sides of the border in recent times but one mix-up of information on its web page created a lot of confusion.
In one of its reports titled "Kashmir curfew eased for Eid al-Adha, queues at stores and ATMs", it put a multimedia report of people protesting in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir against the Indian government.
This anomaly was pointed out on Twitter as it gave the impression that the visuals of protests were from the Indian side of Kashmir.