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Jailed Journalist Fahad Shah Booked Under Public Safety Act in Kashmir

Previously, the police had re-arrested the journalist, even though the court had granted him bail on two occasions.

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India
2 min read
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Almost a month after the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) police arrested him under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), journalist Fahad Shah, who is currently in jail, was on Monday, 14 March, booked under Public Safety Act (PSA), reported The Indian Express.

The J&K Police had first arrested Shah on 4 February. Later they re-arrested the journalist two more times, even though the court had granted him bail on two occasions.

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PSA permits the government to jail anyone without a trial for up to one year.

"Sensing that the Hon’ble Special Court may grant the bail as the allegations levelled against the accused does not prima facie connect him with the commission on any offence the authorities have taken recourse to J&K Public Safety Act," Umair Ronga, the lawyer who handles Shah's case tweeted.

Background

Journalist Fahad Shah was on Saturday, 5 March, re-arrested in a third case, soon after he was granted bail by a Shopian court. The Jammu and Kashmir Police arrested Shah in connection with a third FIR, filed against him in 2020, before he could be released.

Shah is presently lodged at the Safakadal police station in Srinagar. In the third FIR, Shah was charged under sections 147 (rioting), 307 (attempt to murder), 109 (abetment), 501 (printing or engraving defamatory matter), and 505 (public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.

Fahad Shah is the editor-in-chief The Kashmir Walla, a digital magazine reporting on socio-cultural issues from J&K, and was first arrested after the police registered a case against him in south Kashmir's Pulwama district. He was arrested on Friday, 4 February, and charged under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for allegedly sharing social media posts with "anti-national" content with "criminal intention" that aimed to disturb law and order.

He was granted bail on 26 February in the UAPA case, only to be arrested again in a second FIR filed by the J&K Police.

(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

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