Journalist Fahad Shah Arrested in J&K for ‘Anti-National’ Social Media Posts
Fahad Shah was arrested on Friday after being called in to record a statement by police in J&K's Pulwama.
Journalist Fahad Shah was arrested on Friday, 4 February for allegedly sharing social media posts with "anti-national" content with "criminal intention" that aimed to disturb law and order, said the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) police.
His posts allegedly glorified terrorist activities, causing a "dent to the image" of law-enforcement agencies, and caused "ill-will and disaffection" against the country," the police claimed, reported The Indian Express.
"Accused Fahad Shah has been arrested on the basis of one of the three FIRs lodged against him for glorifying terrorism, spreading fake news, and instigating people, for the past three to four years. Court proceedings will be held in the Supreme Court," Inspector General of Kashmir Police Vijay Kumar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Fahad Shah is the editor-in-chief of online news portal The Kashmir Walla and was arrested after the police registered a case against him in south Kashmir's Pulwama district.
According to a statement accessed by PTI, Pulwama police had "reliably learnt" that a few Facebooks users and pages were accused of "uploading anti-national content" intended to "create fear among public."
As these posts allegedly "amount to commission of cognizable offences" a case was registered under FIR No 19/2022 under relevant sections of the law, the report added.
Shah was arrested and placed in police custody after being called for questioning on Tuesday, and was called to record his statement, following which the Pulwama police confirmed his arrest in a statement.
'Standing Up For Truth Is Deemed Anti-National': Mehbooba Mufti Reacts
Former J&K Chief Minister and People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti expressed her dismay on Twitter.
“Standing up for the truth is deemed anti-national. Showing the mirror to a deeply intolerant & authoritarian government is also anti-national. Fahad’s journalistic work speaks for itself & depicts the ground reality unpalatable to GOI," she wrote, asking how many Fahads the police would arrest.
According to PTI, Shah was earlier questioned by the police for a story published on the news portal regarding the family of one militant who was killed in an encounter in Naira, Pulwama on 30 January.
The encounter claimed the lives of four ultras, but the family of the militant had claimed that he was innocent.
The Kashmir Walla is a digital magazine reporting on socio-cultural issues from J&K, that started in 2011. In January 2022, a trainee reporter from the organisation, Sajad Gul, was also arrested under provisions of the Public Safety Act for sharing tweets that allegedly intended to provoke "the people against the government and to spread animosity," according to reports.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and PTI.)
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