Kashmiri Activist Booked Under Sedition For Comments Critical Of Indian Army Action
Indian authorities in occupied Kashmir have booked Shehla Rashid, a political leader and activist, under charges of sedition over her tweets regarding brutality of Indian armed forces.
Foreign news outlet The Wire has reported that Shehla Rashid, a leader of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s movement, made tweets in which she claimed that Indian forces had ransacked houses and tortured civilians following the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution.
Meanwhile, the activist has said that the charges were ‘frivolous, politically motivated and a pathetic attempt to silence her’.
The leader and activist, who was formerly a prominent student leader at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, was also charged with disseminating ‘fake news’ with the aim to damage the image of the Indian armed forces.
In August, Shehla Rashid had also tweeted against Indian action, saying that the Indian government was cracking down on ‘human, civil and political rights of Kashmiris under the garb of fighting terror.
1) Indian govt is cracking down on the human, civil and political rights of Kashmiris under the garb of "fighting terror". I'm sorry, but this isn't about fighting terrorism. This is terrorism. State terrorism. Yes, Kashmir has had an armed insurgency – a direct result of such ..
— Shehla Rashid شہلا رشید (@Shehla_Rashid) August 17, 2019
According to the activist, such actions by the Indian armed forces were ‘state terrorism’. She also argued that the reason why Kashmiris had taken up arms was the result of violent Indian action and the Indian state’s attempts to undermine the ‘authentic leadership of Kashmiris’ through rigged elections and the installation of puppet regimes.
Media has reported that an Indian lawyer, in response to the tweets, had filed a complained with the Delhi police commissioner.
An inquiry was launched following the complaint and subsequently Shehla Rashid was booked under section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code.
Following the charges, the activist had claimed the Indian Army to be behind the initiation of the inquiry and that she had proof of this fact.
Since the imposition of the curfew by India on August 5, international human rights organisations as well as political leaders from both India and Pakistan have denounced the miserable conditions of the Kashmiris.
The human rights violations in Kashmir have been condemned by rights activists from both India and Pakistan. Just yesterday, Amnesty International India launched a global campaign in order to highlight the month-long blackout in the occupied territory.
The campaign, run under the hashtag #LetKashmirSpeak, aims to highlight the communication blackout that has persisted in Kashmir since a month and calls authorities to immediately lift the ban on communications.