September 22, 2023
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Fahad Shah, a jailed scribe in J&K, has been charged under the PSA

Fahad Shah, a jailed journalist, has been charged under the Public Safety Act, more than a month after his arrest (PSA).Shah was arrested on February 4, but after being bailed out twice by the court, he was re-arrested by the J&K Police.

Shah was arrested on Monday under the Patriot Act, which allows the government to imprison someone for up to a year without a trial. The authorities have invoked the J&K Public Safety Act, believing that the Hon’ble Special Court may grant bail because the allegations levelled against the accused do not prima facie connect him with the commission of any offence,” Shah’s lawyer Umair Ronga tweeted.

Shah was detained for postings on social media that allegedly “damaged the image of law enforcement agencies as well as causing ill will and disaffection against the country.” “Fahad Shah is wanted in three cases for glorifying terrorism, spreading false news, and inciting the general public to disrupt law and order,” according to the police.
Shah was remanded in police custody for ten days before being bailed out by the NIA court on February 26.

Instead of releasing him on bail, the J&K Police re-arrested him in a separate case filed against him in the Shopian district of south Kashmir. Shah was granted bail by a Shopian court on March 5. He was re-arrested by the J&K Police in another case filed against him at the Safakadal police station in Srinagar. The case concerned the year 2020. In the third case, his lawyer had also applied for bail.

Shah, 33, is the editor of “The Kashmirwalla,” an online news portal that also publishes a weekly newspaper. He’s also written stories for a number of international newspapers and magazines.

Shah is the PSA’s second journalist to be arrested this year. The J&K Police had previously charged journalist Sajad Gul, a resident of Hajin in north Kashmir, with violating the Act.

Two of the many reasons for booking Gul under the Public Safety Act were “apprehension that you may be bailed out by Hon’ble court of law” and “you being well educated can use social media as a tool to provoke against the government establishment,” according to his PSA dossier.Gul was a journalism student who also worked for Shah’s “The Kashmirwalla” as an intern.

Picture Courtesy: Google/Images are subject to copyright


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