After three hour questioning, Kashmiri Journalist summoned again by NIA, Journalists’ bodies condemn harassment

Srinagar: Kashmir Observer reporter, Auqib Javeed, was questioned for three hours by National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi on Saturday. He has been summoned again on Sunday.

Javeed, an accredited journalist, was summoned by the investigating agency to its Delhi office for questioning in a sedition case filed against Dukhtaraan-e-Millat chief Asiya Andrabi and two of her aides.

NIA on Friday had sent a notice to Javeed and asked him to present himself at NIA headquarters in New Delhi on July 15 due to his ‘acquaintance with the circumstances’ with a case under investigation, case No RC-17/2018/NIA/DLI, Dated 27th April, 2018.

“It appears you are acquainted with the circumstances of the case which is under investigation by the Superintendent of Police NIA New Delhi under chapter XII code of criminal procedure, you are therefore requested to attend before the undersigned at NIA headquarters on 15 July for the purpose of your examination relating to the case,” reads NIA notice.

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The summon, he says, was a shock to him and his family.

“I got a call from Police Station Kothi Bagh. They asked me to meet them,” Javeed says. “I went to the police station. SHO Kothibagh met me with a man who introduced himself as (an official from) NIA. He told me a summon has been sent on my name. I asked him as to what has happened. They said they didn’t have details regarding that but asked me to book a ticket to Delhi for tomorrow,” he had told Free Press Kashmir on receiving the summon.

After discussing the issue at his office, he believes that the case is regarding resistance leader Asiya Andrabi’s interview that he had conducted.

Notably, NIA recently took Andrabi, the chief of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, along with her two aides to New Delhi for investigation in an alleged Sedition Case. She was sent to a 10-day NIA custody.

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Javeed’s family is worried about him, keeping the drop down of Kamran Yousuf’s case.

Yousuf was arrested by NIA last year and was eventually released on bail in March this year. NIA was accused of keeping him in custody ‘illegally’.

“My family is in shock. My mother is a Blood Pressure patient. My sister’s marriage date was going to be fixed but this happened all of a sudden.”

The Kashmir Working Journalist Association (KWJA) and Kashmir Journalist Association (KJA) have said that they have taken strong note of the summoning of a Srinagar based journalist Auqib Javeed by National Investigative Agency (NIA) for questioning to New Delhi, terming it as intimidation and harassment of Kashmiri journalist.

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A joint statement from the associations, condemning the move, said the summoning reflects the highhanded approach of the federal agency to ascribe motive to journalists’ professional work and summon them like criminals.

“It is also highly regrettable that Auqib has been summoned, out of the station, at a very short notice, without giving a damn to how he manages to do it,” the statement said.

Kashmir Editors Guild has expressed concern over the development saying the frequent summoning of journalists is weakening democracy and the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech.

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