Rashid had claimed that armed forces were picking up boys at night and ransacking houses. The authorities rejected her claims calling it fake news.
Newly-formed Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement leader Shehla Rashid has been booked for sedition over her tweets alleging grave human rights violations by the armed forces in the Valley. The activist and former JNU Students Union leader has been booked under section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code. In a series of tweets last month, Rashid claimed that armed forces were picking up boys at night and ransacking houses. The authorities rejected her claims calling it fake news.
Following her claims, Supreme Court lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava filed a complaint against Rashid with Delhi Police saying that the allegations levelled by the former JNU student leader were false and concocted. The complaint was later handed over to the Delhi Police’s Special Cell which booked her for sedition.
Rashid has been critical of the central government’s decision to revoke special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. She has made several claims of human rights violations by forces in the Valley but most of them are based on unverified reports or videos.
In one such claims, Rashid said: “Fire services in Kashmir do not have phone connectivity. The emergency numbers can’t be called from mobile. As a result, 3 houses in Alluchi Bagh, Srinagar were completely gutted 5-6 days ago. Appeal to DC Srinagar to provide compensation to the families.”
To this, Jammu and Kashmir – Department of Information and Public Relations came out with a detailed account of the incident and said: “Problems exist but we are on toes 24×7. Incident (happened) on 20 August. Fire tenders reached spot 1:55 AM. The operation completed 6 AM. Jt Director F&ES was personally present. One house damaged. Compensation approved under SDRF Norms.”
Rashid had claimed that three houses were gutted. However, the state found only one house was damaged and compensation was approved.
The authorities in the state maintain that apart from some cases of stone-pelting — that too mostly in Srinagar — the situation in the state is largely calm and peaceful. Landline services have been opened in the state. Recently, Home Minister Amit Shah met a delegation of Sarpanch and assured them that mobile phone services will also be restored in the next 15-20 days.