The Jammu and Kashmir Police Saturday registered an FIR against handlers of a website that had named political activists and journalists based in the Valley as being on “Indian payroll”.

The J&K Police said the list was uploaded with an intention to create fear psychosis among individuals named in the said list. Issued late Thursday, the list contained names of several political activists and journalists including those working for national dailies and news channels.

“Police Station, Kothibagh had came to know reliably that some propagandist material is being uploaded and circulated through a website URL https// These posts uploaded on the said URL are prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty of country and maintenance of peace and tranquility as the handler of the above said URL is propagating secessionist and terror related ideology with the intention to achieve goal of separating UT of J&K from Union of India,” said the police statement.

The URL handler has now been booked for uploading posts prejudicial to integrity, sovereignty and maintenance of peace and tranquility, officials said.

While the handler of the webpage is believed to have taken down the post sometime after making it public, the alleged list found its way to social media websites as well as internet based messaging applications.

“Not only this, list of political/media persons and public figures and also posts of Lashkar-I-Islam are uploaded with the intention to create fear psychosis among individuals. The website/URL is run as a propaganda tool against lawful actions and policies of Government with aim to disrupt peace and thus provoking common people for illegal activities,” the police statement added.

The URL handler had categorised the media personnel and activists as A, B and C, said the police.

This categorisation is similar to how the J&K Police slots insurgents based on the level of their involvement in militants activities. The post had accused the individuals on the list of being on “Indian payroll”.

Subsequently editors’ groups and journalist bodies issued a joint statement saying they “felt pained over the unwarranted propaganda, aimed at bringing a bad name to individuals and institutions for no apparent reasons or justification”.

“It has become a routine for diverse elements across all the political and ideological thoughts to pass judgment on the Kashmir media and eventually, make it the punching bag to suit their ends,” the statement said.

According to the police, an FIR has been registered under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

“The instant case calls for caution among general public and not to pay any heed to such derogative posts/URLs and importantly not to share further such posts and become a mode of transmission of such unlawful posts which may earn legal consequences,” the statement said.

“The instant case has also sent a resounding message across the circles of such elements, propagandists and criminals that whatsoever may be level and degree of their evil plannings they cannot escape from the clutches of law enforcing agencies,” it added.