FIR against ‘Awaam Ki Awaaz’ for locking Govt school in Pulwama

Arshid Bhat (dressed in light green) of Dadoora village runs the Awaam Ki Awaaz group
Arshid Bhat (dressed in light green) of Dadoora village runs the Awaam Ki Awaaz group

PULWAMA — A couple of people who claim to run an ‘NGO’ in the interest of public in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district are allegedly using social media to tarnish the image of officials, politicians and government employees. Police registered an FIR against them for sealing a Government School Building without any permission.

“This NGO or private organization, whatever you call it is known as ‘Awaam Ki Awaaz’ and is active on social media networking sites including Facebook and has created WhatsApp Groups as well. “One gets shocked and hangs his head in shame after going through their Facebook posts. They abuse everyone who confronts them without any fear and care of fig for law,” former legislators from Rajpora Constituency Ghulam Mohiuddin Mir and Syed Bashir said.

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“Their Facebook posts are replete with contempt, abuses and hate. Besides targeting these two former MLA’s, they abused a top government official Muhammad Ahsan Mir who was posted in the district as ADC and is currently deputed in Baramulla. A Jammu Kashmir Bank Branch, some doctors have also become their targets,” they said.

“I was not feeling well and once I recuperate, I will lodge an FIR against these fellows for abusing me and tarnishing my image,” Assistant Development Commissioner, Ahsan Mir said.

This ‘NGO’ is run by one Arshid Bhat of Dadoora village and Ajaz Dhobi of Dangarpora village. Both these villages are located in the heart of Pulwama district.

Arshid Bhat, after quitting PDP and NC, joined BJP and was the Personal Assistant of BDC Chairman Pulwama from BJP, Amit Koul. BJP District President for Pulwama, Sajad Raina, however said that Bhat was never part of BJP and he has nothing to do with the party.

Last year, the then Block Development Officer Pulwama, Abid Ahmed had registered an FIR against Bhat for allegedly assaulting him in his office during duty hours.

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His associate Ajaz Dhobi is said to have affiliations with National Conference, a charge which he vehemently refuted.

“Check the Facebook posts of their organization ‘Awaam Ki Awaaz’ and you will get a shock. They openly resort to abuses and even use invectives against girls. We have screenshots and will share with you,” said a government employee, wishing not to disclose his name as he fears for the reprisal.

“Yesterday this ‘NGO’ accused me of playing an active role in setting the house of active militant Faisal Baba on fire. They openly wrote it on Facebook and since then, I fear for my life,” former MLA Syed Bashir said.

Another former MLA Ghulam Mohiuddin Mir said that they have collected all the evidences and screenshots of Facebook post run by Arshid Bhat and will lodged a police complaint in coming days. “All the people have come together and they will face action under law. What can you expect from a person who writes that in his own village rape incidents are common and his Dadoora village is known for rapes,” Mir said.

Awaam Ki Awaaz ‘NGO’ has stocked ration at Government Middle School Dangarpora and even has sealed Government Middle School Dadoora. Chief Education Officer Pulwama, Gulzar Ahmed Chowdhary said that on the directions of Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, they have registered an FIR against Bhat for sealing the government school and stocking ration and other stuff in another government school building without permission. “Nobody has right to lock the Government school building and we have registered a complaint at Police Station Pulwama,” Chowdhary said.

A top police official confirmed that they have received the complaint against ‘Awaam Ki Awaaz’ for locking the Government school building at Dadoora. “An FIR vide number 124/2020 under Section 153, 505 IPC has been registered at Police Station Pulwama and those responsible for the act will face the music.”

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Despite repeated attempts, Arshid Bhat didn’t pick up the phone; however, his associate Ajaz Dhobi narrated a different tale accusing former politicians of harassment.

“Awaam Ki Awaaz is not an NGO but a ‘thought’ run by youth of Pulwama. Our motive is only to serve people and so far, we have helped 7,200 families made ration available to them in this pandemic. We are even distributing Biryani and other stuff among non-local labourers and have no affiliation with any political party. But there are politicians in the district who are unhappy with our work and hatch conspiracies against us. They ask people not to help us,” Ajaz Dhobi said.

He admitted that they sealed Government Middle School Dadoora claiming that all the nine teachers posted there are ‘drug addicts’ while there are only 7 students and there is no fun of having this school in the village.

When asked why they upload abusive posts on Facebook, he said uploading these posts is compulsion. “We are being harassed by these politicians as they are disturbed with our popularity in the district. They labeled us as ones affiliated with BJP. We don’t have any affiliation with any political party,” he said, adding that their adversaries are running fake accounts to defame them.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Yousuf Bhat, Headmaster at Government Middle School Dadoora refuted the claims, saying that there are only 6 teachers including him in the school and there are 30 students while there is no student in Class 4. “It doesn’t sound nice to call us drug addicts,” he said.

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