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Posted at: Jul 2, 2017, 12:34 AM; last updated: Jul 2, 2017, 12:34 AM (IST)

Retd judge, academicians in list of ‘secessionist writers’

Azhar Qadri

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, July 1

A retired High Court judge and several academicians have been named as “secessionist writers” in a list compiled by the state police’s intelligence wing and the department’s field units have been tasked to gather information about them.

The list has been prepared by the Special Branch of the police’s Criminal Investigation Department, sources said.

Nearly twenty columnists — among them a retired High Court judge, three academicians and also a photographer — have been named in the list bracketed as “secessionist writers”.

Hasnain Masoodi, who retired as a High Court judge in January last year, figures as the first name in the list. Masoodi has been regularly writing columns in newspapers since his retirement. His son was a candidate of the National Conference in the Assembly elections 2014 and his residence had also come under a militant attack.

Three academicians, Syeda Afshana of the University of Kashmir, Ather Zia, an assistant professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Northern Colorado, US, and Mohammad Junaid, an anthropologist and doctoral candidate based in New York, US, have also been named in the list.

Ghulam Nabi Fai, a US citizen of the Kashmiri origin who in 2011 pleaded guilty to “conspiracy and tax violations in connection with a decades-long scheme to conceal the transfer of at least $3.5 million from the Government of Pakistan to fund his lobbying efforts in America related to Kashmir”, is also on the list.

A senior official in the CID confirmed that the list had been prepared and said field units had been tasked to collect the “data” related to these individuals. “It is an exercise to create a data bank,” the official said, adding that the mention of the word secessionist is a “clerical mistake”.

The list also names research scholar Gowhar Fazili and civil rights’ activist Gautam Navlakha.

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