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J&K Police arrests Ph.D student under UAPA for 2011 online article

A student at Kashmir University, Fazili, 39, is pursuing his doctoral studies in pharmaceutical sciences. He was scheduled to get married in a fortnight.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar |
Updated: April 18, 2022 8:34:16 am
Kashmir University Ph.D students arrested by SIA under UAPA. (Source: www.kashmiruniversity)

The Jammu and Kashmir Police’s recently created State Investigation Agency (SIA) on Sunday arrested a Ph.D student under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The student has been arrested for an article written by him that was published in an online news magazine 11 years ago. It said the article published on November 6, 2011, in the online magazine The Kashmir Walla was “highly provocative, seditious and intended to create unrest in Jammu and Kashmir”.

A student at Kashmir University, Fazili, 39, is pursuing his doctoral studies in pharmaceutical sciences. He was scheduled to get married in a fortnight. He was a recipient of the UGC Maulana Azad National Fellowship for five years till March 2021.

Officers of the SIA raided the residences of Ph.D student Abdul Aala Fazili and Fahad Shah, the editor of The Kashmir Walla who is already in jail, and the magazine’s office premises and conducted intensive searches. The searches were in connection with a First Information Report registered against Fazili, Shah, and other associates for the “seditious” article, the SIA said.

Shah was arrested on March 14 under the Public Safety Act after he was bailed out twice earlier by the courts. He was arrested on February 4 for a report in his website on a gunfight in South Kashmir which quoted family members saying their son who was killed in the gunfight was not a militant. While he was bailed out by the court, he was re-arrested following an FIR registered against him in Shopian for another report in the magazine. When he received bail the second time, the police booked him under PSA.

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“The article titled ‘The shackles of slavery will break’ … on the one hand is highly provocative, seditious and intended to create unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, written with the purpose of abetting the youth to take the path of violence by glorifying terrorism, and on the other, the write-up prompted and propagated the false narrative, which is essential to sustain secessionist cum terrorist campaign aimed at breaking the territorial integrity of India,” the SIA said in a statement.

Fazili came to limelight during the 2016 street protests when he participated in several television programmes condemning the use of force on civilian protesters. He was called for questioning by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) five years ago.

In its statement, the SIA said the online magazine article used “prescriptive language with instructional intent, encouraging secessionist elements to carry out terror activities”. “The repeated reference to freedom and terror outfits rhetoric makes it amply clear that the article is not merely propaganda. Rather, it is articulation of Pakistan ISI and the vision of its sponsored terrorist secessionist networks,” the SIA said.

The SIA statement also mentioned the scholarship awarded to Fazili. “Government of India paid him Rs 30,000 per month for five years till March 2021 through UGC MANF (Maulana Azad National Fellowship) so that he can sustain himself and complete his Ph.D,” it said, adding the agency has “seized incriminating evidences, which include material in computers, laptops and other digital equipments”.

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