After getting bail, Kashmir journalist Fahad Shah arrested for third time

Updated on Mar 07, 2022 06:49 AM IST

Kashmir journalist Fahad Shah was arrested for the third time on Saturday late evening after a court granted him bail in the second case, his lawyer Omair Ronga said.

Kashmir journalist Fahad Shah, 33, was first arrested on February 4 with police claiming that he allegedly glorified terrorism, spread fake news and incited the people of Jammu and Kashmir. (HT File Photo)
Kashmir journalist Fahad Shah, 33, was first arrested on February 4 with police claiming that he allegedly glorified terrorism, spread fake news and incited the people of Jammu and Kashmir. (HT File Photo)
By, Hindustan Times, Srinagar

Kashmir journalist Fahad Shah was arrested for the third time on Saturday late evening after a court granted him bail in the second case, his lawyer Omair Ronga said.

Ronga said Shah was granted bail by the judicial magistrate, Shopian, S Qayoom in a case registered at the Imam Sahib police station in south Kashmir’s Shopian under CrPC 505 (statements conducing to public mischief ) and 153 (rioting).

“His family went to Shopian where they were told that another police team from Srinagar is coming for his arrest. Simultaneously, he was handed over to the Safa Kadal police station where an FIR is registered against him under IPC 307 (attempt to murder), and other Sections like 147,109, 501 and 505,” he said.

The Shopian police had arrested Shah and taken his custody from the Pulwama police, hours after being granted bail by a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on February 26.

Shah, 33, was first arrested on February 4 with police claiming that he allegedly glorified terrorism, spread fake news and incited the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The police have claimed that three separate first information reports (FIRs) were registered against Shah, who runs a news portal and magazine — Kashmiri Walla — in the last four years.

“Fahad Shah is wanted in three cases for glorifying terrorism, spreading fake news and inciting general public for creating law and order situations: FIR No. 70/2020 of PS Safakadal Srinagar, FIR No. 06/2021 of PS Imamsahib, Shopian & currently has been arrested in FIR No. 19/2022 of PS Pulwama,” inspector general of police, Kashmir Range, Vijay Kumar had said soon after his arrest.

Shah’s lawyer Ronga said that the cases are related to his reportage only.

“The cases have been filed because of his journalism. I feel this is harassment aimed to set a deterrent not to report. They want only reports which are favourable,” he said.

He said that when he got bail in the UAPA case (filed at Pulwama) then the bail in other cases is more expected.

“There is nothing substantive in these cases and that will be proved in the trial. We are ready to face the trial,” he said.

In the case filed at Safa Kadal, he said that Shah had reported on the Nawa Kadal encounter between security forces and militants when many houses had also caught fire.

“The reportage was on the damages to the civilian properties. Also, they have added a defamatory Section. It was an operation there and whatever happened there that was reported as it had happened. How is that defamatory?” he said.

Messages to SSP, Srinagar, Rakesh Balawal for a reaction did not elicit any response.

Shah’s arrest triggered widespread condemnation and demands of his release by national and international media and human rights activists and organisations.

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