J&K State Investigation Agency files charge sheet against journalist Fahad Shah, scholar Aala Fazili in ‘narrative terrorism’ case

Updated - October 22, 2022 12:27 am IST

Published - October 21, 2022 02:58 pm IST - SRINAGAR

File photo of  Fahad Shah 

File photo of  Fahad Shah  | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Describing journalist and editor Fahad Shah and scholar Aala Fazili as “contaminated and compromised media persons”, the J&K State Investigation Agency (SIA) on Thursday filed a chargesheet against the duo in a “narrative terrorism” case.

“Their (Shah and Fazili) end objective was to create, sustain, and spread disaffection, hatred and enmity against the Indian State. Their interim objective was to preserve Pakistani influence by manipulating and playing with facts, subtly or brazenly, by putting information without context or out of context or selective reporting or selective exaggeration or underplaying or muting others and by craftily and cunningly invoking the legal rights to press freedom and political dissent guaranteed by the very Indian State which they wanted to undermine,” the SIA statement said.

The SIA said the duo was chargesheeted in a case related to “narrative terrorism”, wherein as part of a criminal conspiracy to spread terrorism and create a false narrative, the accused by a highly provocative and seditious write-up intended to create unrest and aid and abet the gullible youth to take the path of violence.

The SIA said Mr. Shah, editor of online magazine Kashmir Walla and Mr. Fazili, a PhD scholar in the department of pharmaceutical sciences at the Kashmir University, have been booked under the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Mr. Shah was arrested on February 4 and later booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) on March 16, even as the courts granted him bail at least two times in two different cases. He is currently imprisoned at the Kupwara Jail.

In April this year, Mr. Fazili was arrested for his write up titled ‘The shackles of slavery will break”, published on November 6, 2011 in the online magazine.

“The article was found to be against national integration and supported the claim of secession of a part of the country’s territory, challenged sovereignty and territorial integrity, glorified violence, and advocated and abetted commission of terrorist acts. Shah intentionally conspired with Fazili and published the article, and this led to an increase in terrorism and unlawful activities across J&K,” the SIA said.

Meanwhile, the statement on the Kashmir Walla website on Fahad’s earlier arrest said: “Our legal team believes that Fahad’s Kafkaesque detention seems to challenge our judiciary, democratic values, and independent journalism at once. We reiterate the appeal to the Manoj Sinha-led Jammu and Kashmir administration for Fahad’s immediate release and withdrawal of the PSA and all other charges against him.”

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