A Delhi court on Monday granted relief from arrest to Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement leader Shehla Rashid, who has been booked for sedition for tweeting that the armed forces allegedly tortured civilians and ransacked houses in the Valley after Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was revoked.
In his order, additional sessions judge Pawan Kumar Jain at Patiala House court granted interim protection from arrest to Rashid. He wrote: “I am of the view that the matter requires investigation in detail” and posted it next for November 5. Till then, he ordered that the “accused shall not be arrested”, news agency report said.
However, he directed that she would “join the investigation” as and when called by the investigation officer.
Earlier, Rashid’s counsel, senior advocate Satish Tamta, urged the court for interim protection on the ground that she had shared some information on her Twitter (account) on August 17 this year pertaining to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
He submitted before the court that “on the basis of her comments, one advocate made a complaint to the Special Cell (of Delhi Police) and on the basis of said complaint, police has registered an FIR”. The counsel also stated the sections under which the case has been registered.
Thereafter the additional public prosecutor submitted that till date, the police has not even issued any notice to the accused. Tamta, thereafter, stated that Rashid was ready to join the investigation and cooperate with the police.
ASJ Jain also recorded that the prosecutor had stated that the police has thus far not received any complaint from the Indian Army. After he said that the police would need at least six weeks to investigate the complaint, the judge posted the matter to November 5.
This case has once again highlighted how the serious provision of sedition is used arbitrarily to silence complaints and voices of dissent.
In this case, while Rashid has been accused of making false accusations against the army, the fact of the matter, as submitted by a counsel before the court, is that the army has not made a complaint till date.
It may be noted that Rashid had described the charge levelled against her as “frivolous, politically motivated and a pathetic attempt to silence” her. Apart from sedition, she was also charged with spreading “fake news” with the intention to “malign the image of the Indian Army”.
The case was filed in connection with a series of tweets made by her on August 17. In these, Rashid had alleged that the armed forces entered houses in Kashmir at night and “ransacked” them. She had also alleged that four men were called to an Army camp in Shopian and “interrogated (tortured)”.
Following her tweets, a Supreme Court lawyer, Alakh Alok Srivastava, filed a complaint with Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik accusing the former JNU student leader of making “absolutely false and concocted” allegations.
The complaint was forwarded to Special Cell and Rashid was booked, apart from other sections, for under section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code as well.
Govt committed to revive pristine glory of water bodies: Div Com
SRINAGAR, SEPTEMBER 19: Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, today said that government is committed to revive the pristine glory of water bodies in Kashmir valley.
The Divisional Commissioner said this while taking stock of revival measures for Wular Lake, Hokersar and Kreentchoo-Chandhara wet lands at a meeting here.
He directed WUCMA to conduct a survey with Wildlife and Revenue authorities in peripheral areas of the Wular Lake for identification of encroached spots.
For Hokersar and Kreentchoo-Chandhara wet lands, Deputy Commissioners of Srinagar, Budgam and Pulwama districts were directed to prepare a complete demarcation and encroachment report of the wetlands within 20 days.
It was said that concerned Deputy Commissioners will conduct an outer tour of the water bodies along with officers, Panchayats and Municipal Committees and propose a separate land fill site for dumping solid waste on scientific lines.
The Divisional Commissioner directed Deputy Commissioners to involve local Panchayats for safeguarding and conservation of water bodies.
Additional Commissioner Kashmir, Chief Wildlife Warden, Additional Deputy Commissioner Srinagar and other concerned officers were present in the meeting where as Deputy Commissioners of Bandipora, Budgam and Pulwama participated in the meeting through video conferencing.
Govt inaugurates 15 power projects in Jammu & Kashmir
Union Power Minister RK Singh and Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik have jointly inaugurated 15 power projects and laid the foundation stone for 20 others worth 10,000 crore rupees in the state. Addressing a function in Srinagar, Power Minister said, the government is working to ensure 24 hours electricity supply to all the citizens of the country, including in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. He said, the power supply in this winter will be much better than in the past.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor Satya Pal Malik said development works in Jammu and Kashmir will prompt People of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir to revolt against Islamabad and join India.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Jitendra Singh has said that the transition of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to Union Territories will be smooth. He said, any arrangement or mechanism which evolves will be in the best interest of all the stakeholders. Dr Jitendra Singh was addressing the Annual Conference of Chief Secretaries and Principal Secretaries of all States in New Delhi yesterday.
How can PSA be slapped against Farooq Abdullah: Hasnain Masoodi
How can PSA or Public Safety Act be slapped against National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah who has been in public life for 50 years, someone who has been an MP, and a three time Chief Minister, asks National Conference MP Justice Hasnain Masoodi in an interview with IANS.
“Dr Abdullah has put forth the Kashmir case for India before the international fora. Can he be a risk to the public order and security of the state? Nobody will agree to this,” Justice Masoodi said.
Justice Hasnain Masoodi and his fellow National Conference MP Akbar Lone, who held a meeting with Dr Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah last week said that Farooq Abdullah is not keeping good health, while Omar Abdullah is in good spirits.
“Dr Farooq Abdullah has some health issues. On August 3, there were some concerns about his health. His health may not be worse as compared to the first week of August, but he is not keeping good health. Omar Abdullah is in good spirits,” Justice Hasnain Masoodi said.
Justice Hasnain Masoodi said that the revocation of Article 370 is neither in favour of the state nor the country.
“The scrapping of this Article will widen the gulf between Kashmir and the rest of the country,” Masoodi said.
He said there has been no significant improvement in the situation in Kashmir since August 5, when the article was scrapped and this is drawing international attention.
“Things are the same in Kashmir, though some public transport is plying, mobile phone service continue to remain blocked. There is an information blockade. Landlines have been opened up, but because of the shift to the digital world, most people have disconnected their landlines,” Justice Masoodi said.