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Kashmiri journalist and university scholar charged with sedition over alleged seditious article

Kashmir: The Kashmiri journalist Peerzada Fahad Shah, who is in jail over a number of charges ranging from inciting sectarian violence to having links with terrorists, has been charged with sedition along with a university scholar, Abdul Ala Fazili, for publishing an alleged seditious article written by Fazili.

A special designated court, which has been formed under the NIA Act, has found Peerzada Fahad Shah and Abdul Ala Fazili to have committed a crime amounting to sedition after acknowledging the probe against them conducted by the State Investigation Agency (SIA).

The case against Shah and Fazili has been based on a complaint received by the CIJ police station (SIA-Jammu) on April 4 last year, which included a copy of an article titled 'The Shackles of Slavery Will Break' written by Fazili and published in the digital magazine (portal) 'The Kashmir Walla', of which Shah was the editor-in-chief-cum-director.

"The duo, under an active conspiracy and Pakistan's support, resurrected a platform reviving the narrative in support of the terrorist and separatist ecosystem. They were spreading an anti-India narrative by exploiting digital platforms under a concealed and camouflaged set-up with the help of illicit funding received from hostile foreign agencies and proscribed terrorist organisations," he said.

After hearing the contentions, the court found sufficient material collected by the SIA against the accused and framed charges against Fazili and Shah.

Fazili has been charged under sections 13 (unlawful activity) and 18 (conspiracy, advocating, abetting, inciting, facilitating a terrorist act or any preparation to commit a terrorist act) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and sections 121 (abetting waging of war against the Government of India), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Shah has been charged under sections 13 and 18 of the UAPA, IPC sections 121 and 153B and sections 35 (accepting a foreign contribution in contravention of provisions of FCRA, or any order or rule therein) and 39 (violation of FCRA by a company tantamount to a contravention by the persons in charge or responsible for the business of such company) of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, the official said.

He said the probe has established that the accused were in touch with secessionists across the border and also with some local terrorists.

"Through their publications, they have brazenly advocated terrorism and glorified terrorists with the sole intention to radicalise youngsters in Jammu and Kashmir and entice and incite them in joining secessionist and terrorist organisations," the official said.

He said the SIA filed a charge sheet in the case in the special judge's court on October 13 last year after procuring the requisite government sanction.

With PTI Input

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TAGS:Kashmiri journalist and university scholar charged with sedition Peerzada Fahad Shah The Kashmir Walla 
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