Seditious article case: Online magazine’s interim editor quizzed by SIA

Published on Jun 03, 2022 07:43 AM IST

Sharma’s appearance comes just over 10 days after the magazine’s editor, Fahad Shah, who was in jail on the charges under the Public Safety Act, was shifted to Jammu as the SIA took his custody of the case

Yashraj Sharma, interim editor of The Kashmir Walla online magazine, was questioned by the state investigation agency of J&K Police on Thursday in relation to the investigations of a case filed regarding a ‘seditious article’ allegedly written by Kashmiri scholar Abdul Aala Fazili in 2011 in the magazine. (Image for representational purpose)
Yashraj Sharma, interim editor of The Kashmir Walla online magazine, was questioned by the state investigation agency of J&K Police on Thursday in relation to the investigations of a case filed regarding a ‘seditious article’ allegedly written by Kashmiri scholar Abdul Aala Fazili in 2011 in the magazine. (Image for representational purpose)
By, Srinagar

Yashraj Sharma, interim editor of The Kashmir Walla online magazine, was questioned by the state investigation agency (SIA) of J&K Police on Thursday in relation to the investigations of a case filed regarding a ‘seditious article’ allegedly written by Kashmiri scholar Abdul Aala Fazili in 2011 in the magazine.

Sharma’s appearance comes just over 10 days after the magazine’s editor, Fahad Shah, who was in jail on the charges under the Public Safety Act, was shifted to Jammu as the SIA took the custody of the case.

The presence of Sharma, who took over the editing responsibilities at the magazine after Shah’s arrest, has been sought by the SIA under section 160 CrPC which empowers a police officer to seek attendance of any person acquainted with a case.

Sharma was not working with the magazine in 2011 when the article was allegedly published.

The SIA had issued the notice to Sharma on May 26 stating to answer a certain question as “it appears that you are acquainted with the circumstances of the case, which is under investigation at police station JIC/SIA, Jammu. You are hereby required to appear at police station Miran Sahib, Jammu on or before June 2”.

In April, the SIA had raided the house of Aala Fazili, a PhD scholar of Kashmir University for writing an alleged seditious article in 2011 and also the office of the online magazine ‘The Kashmir Walla’ in which it was allegedly published besides conducting searches at the house of the magazine’s editor, Fahad Shah.

The case was filed this year under sections 13 and 18 of the UAPA and 120-B, 121, 124, 153-B of the Indian Penal Code at the police station, SIA/JIC (Joint Interrogation Centre), Jammu.

The agency has said that the article titled ‘The shackles of slavery will break’ was “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”.

The magazine said that an unnamed editor of ‘The Kashmir Walla’ and associates have been booked under sections 13 and 18 of the UAPA and section 120B of the IPC under the FIR in this case.

Fahad Shah, 33, was booked under the Public Safety Act on March 14, some 37 days after his initial arrest on February 4 and receiving bail in two of the three cases filed against him by police for allegedly glorifying terrorism, spreading fake news and inciting the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Our legal team believes that Fahad’s Kafkaesque detention seems to challenge our judiciary, democratic values, and independent journalism at once,” the magazine has said on its website.

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

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