Disagree, Not Bully: Twitter Erupts Amid Calls for Shehla’s Arrest
Even as Delhi Police is investigating the complaint filed against Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement leader Shehla Rashid, accusing her of "spreading fake news with the intention to malign the image of Indian Army", a private news channel ran a poll on social media asking if she should be arrested.
The YouTube poll, which was deleted after it was called out on Monday, 19 August, followed hashtags like #ArrestShehlaRashid and #ShehlaRashid which trended throughout the day.
Senior journalists tweeted that while one can disagree and question Rashid, it was ‘not acceptable’ to ‘target her in this vile’ manner
Rashid had, in her tweets, alleged that Army personnel "ransacked" houses and that four men were "interrogated (tortured)" in Shopian . The Indian Army had issued a statement denying the former student activist’s claims, calling it “fake and baseless.”
‘What Will You Do With Proof,’ Rashid Slams Indian Media
Reacting to the controversy, Rashid demanded a "fair and impartial" probe in the matter.
"All of my tweets are based on conversations with people. My thread highlights the positive work of the administration too. Let the Army conduct a fair and impartial probe and I'm willing to share the details of the incidents mentioned with them," Rashid wrote.
She said that it was “cute” that right-wing was threatening her with lawsuits when “there is no law” in Kashmir.
Journos Accuse Rashid of Spreading Fake News
Senior journalists like Aditya Raj Kaul and Marya Shakil accused Rashid of being ‘delusional’ and creating a false narrative.
She also slammed a senior editor who asked her to show proof, by asking him to “read the news.”
‘Why Should Shah Faesal Have All the Fun?’
In his complaint to Delhi Police, Supreme Court advocate Alok Srivastava said that the allegations made by Rashid, in her tweets on Kashmir are “absolutely false and concocted,” since she had not produced any "voice recording" of the alleged torture or "name, date, time" of the incidents.
As Rashid’s tweets became viral, people on social media called for her arrest, alleging that her actions were ‘pro-Pakistan’ and that she was ‘sharing fake news consistently.’
One Twitter handle, @AskAnshul even claimed that she must have tweeted to get ‘more media attention.’
‘Disagree, But Not Bully’
However, people also took to Twitter to extend support for Rashid, calling her trolling a “witch-hunt.” To threaten and bully her is disproportionate in a functional democracy, lawyer and Twitter user Apar wrote.
(With inputs from PTI)
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