The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Friday arrested separatist and Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Asiya Andrabi and two of her associates for allegedly waging war against the country. Andrabi, Sofi Fehmeeda and Naheeda Nasreen were arrested from Srinagar jail, where they were lodged in connection with cases filed by Jammu and Kashmir Police. They were brought to Delhi on transit remand and produced in a special court, which remanded them in 10 days’ NIA custody.
In the FIR registered by the NIA on April 27, the NIA accused Andrabi and others of being part of a proscribed organisation, waging war against the country, sedition, criminal conspiracy, obstructing or attempting to obstruct the governor/president from discharging his duty, inciting riots, promoting enmity between communities and public mischief inciting mutiny against the government.
“The allegations against the accused persons are that they have been using various media platforms to spread insurrectionary imputations and hateful speeches that advocate use of violence against India and secession of the State of Jammu & Kashmir from the Union of India,” NIA IG Alok Mittal said.
He said that Andrabi and her associates have written and spoken words and published visible representations that “excite disaffection towards the Government of India and promote enmity….”. The agency has accused Andrabi of soliciting help from other banned terrorist organisations to wage war against the Government of India.
According to the remand application, the NIA analysed several numbers used by Dukhtaran-e-Millat members. “…it was found that they were in regular contact with associates who are in Pakistan and involved in anti-India activities. The accused persons named in the FIR had made several calls with terrorists and over-ground workers active in Kashmir Valley,” the application said.
Defence counsel Satish Tamta, appearing for all three accused persons, said that videos of speeches of the accused were on social media for many years. “NIA has not made it clear as to what further investigation is carried out,” he said, adding that all accused were falsely implicated.
After hearing both sides, District and Sessions Judge Poonam Bamba said, “Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case and to enable NIA to unearth the larger conspiracy, accused persons are remanded in 10 days’ custody.”
NIA sources said much of the evidence against Andrabi was taken from open sources.These include her speeches and writing available on the Internet where she talks about secession of Kashmir from India and incites Kashmiris to fight against the Indian Army.