NIA Attaches Kashmiri Separatist Asiya Andrabi’s House: Who’s She?
With the National Investigation Agency (NIA) attaching the house of Asiya Andrabi on the outskirts of Srinagar city under the stringent UAPA anti-terror law on Wednesday, 11 July, attention has once again shifted to the hardline Kashmiri separatist leader, who is the founder of the banned separatist all-women Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) group.
The attachment order, the first by NIA against any separatist from the Kashmir Valley, was pasted outside the residence of Andrabi at 90 Feet Road in Soura area on Wednesday.
What Does the DeM Do?
Kashmir-born Andrabi’s DeM, which was founded in 1987, openly advocates secession of Jammu and Kashmir from the Union of India and its merger with Pakistan via violent means.
It is said to be engaged in anti-India activities and has been inciting Kashmiri people for an armed rebellion against the Government of India with the aid and assistance provided by terrorist organisations based in Pakistan.
According to a report in ThePrint, the DeM follows a strict criteria for inducting members into its fold – the joineess should to be below 30 years of age, adhere to the Islamic dress code, and should be educated in a madrassa for at least five years. The Indian Army has been referred to as “Satan forces” in the DeM and the act of stone-pelting has been justified.
“To further incite anti-India sentiment, Andrabi once uploaded a video of cow slaughter by her and her followers during the protest triggered by the court ban on sacrifice of animals,” an NIA officer was quoted by ThePrint as saying.
‘Has Close Contacts With Hafiz Saeed’
Andrabi and her two associates were arrested by Jammu and Kashmir police in April last year and the case was transferred to the NIA in July.
“She is spreading seditious and insurrectionary imputations against the Government of India. She is promoting ill-will and enmity between different communities in India on religious grounds. Investigation has also established that she has close contacts with designated global terrorist Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who is the head of Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Lashkar-e-Taiba, internationally designated terrorist organisations that are based in Pakistan,” the NIA said about Andrabi.
The NIA had filed a charge sheet in November last year against Andrabi and two of her associates for allegedly “waging war” against India using Internet platforms.
Andrabi, Sofi Fehmeeda and Naheeda Nasreen were using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and TV channels, including some in Pakistan, to spread “insurrectionary imputations and hateful messages and speeches against India", the charge sheet had said.
Fehmeeda and Nasreen also collected funds to carry out terrorist activities of Dukhtaran-E-Millat, according to the agency.
Andrabi, who is seen to be the first woman separatist of Kashmir, calls herself a feminist.
ThePrint’s report points out how Andrabi, in her early days, was influenced by an American woman named Margaret Marcus, who was an Islam convert and advocated conservatism and fundamentalism
In 1990, she married the Hizbul Mujahideen founding member Mohammad Qasim.
(With inputs from PTI and ThePrint)
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