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NIA charges against Asiya Andrabi based on her social media posts, media interviews

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Srinagar: The National Investigation agency (NIA) justified its charges of ‘terror acts’ against Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) chief Asiya Andrabi based on mostly her social media posts and media interviews, a report by Indian Express stated.

In the chargesheet filed on November 14, NIA cites her tweets, Facebook posts and YouTube videos, stating that Andrabi is spreading propaganda through these platforms to “wage war against India” with the “objective of Kashmir’s secession from India and merger with Pakistan”, the report said.

Citing a senior official of the agency, IE reported that the agency has analysed 55 videos in which 13 of them record Andrabi delivering a speech against India, making them part of the chargesheet. NIA has said in the chargesheet that six of these videos were shot at Andrabi’s Iqbal Colony home in Naushera, Srinagar.

The official claimed the agency has said in the chargesheet that these videos have Pakistan flags in the background and Andrabi, in her speeches, “vociferously maintains that they want freedom from India and accession of Kashmir with Pakistan”. “Through her terrorist front DeM, Andrabi is also promoting ill-will and enmity between different communities in India with clear intention of undermining the territorial integrity of India,” the agency has said, as per the report.

The report states that the chargesheet has also mentioned eight mobile numbers belonging to Andrabi and her associates Sofi Fahmeeda and Nahida Nasreen, who have also been chargesheeted.

“During analysis of mobile numbers, it has been noticed that accused had made and received calls to their associates who are residing in J&K as well as in Pakistan,” an official said, quoting the chargesheet, as per the IE report.

Talking about YouTube videos as evidence, NIA has referred to Andrabi’s 2015 interview aired on TV channel Headlines Today (now India Today), a 2018 interview to Pakistan channel Neo TV and a 2016 interview to GeoNews, Pakistan apart from those published by various Kashmir-based news websites such as GK News, NNIS News and independent videos.

There are also videos of her speeches delivered in Pakistan, according to the report.

In the chargsheet, NIA has said that these videos show Andrabi making statements such as “We want freedom from Brahmin Hindustan”; “RSS will be responsible for India’s territorial implosion”, “All Muslims in the subcontinent are Pakistanis”, among others.

According to NIA, “These are statements that create and promote enmity, hatred and ill-will between communities”, the report stated.

With reference to Andrabi’s statement on Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz, NIA has said, “This statement clearly mentions connection of DeM with Hafiz Saeed”, according to the IE report.

The chargesheet has also cited a video of Andrabi that was shot in 2015 following a court order banning cow slaughter. In the video, Andrabi slaughters a calf and declares that she is doing this in defiance of the court orders. “It may be seen that this video would terrorise any common man with ordinary prudence,” the NIA has said, as per the report.

With regards to Facebook, the report mentions that the agency has referred to various Facebook posts of Andrabi where she is either seen attending a militant’s funeral or giving call for “freedom from India’s slavery”. It has listed posts carrying videos and messages calling for Kashmir’s secession from India, hoisting of Pakistan flags across Kashmir, and calling for a boycott of elections, among others.

The chargesheet also mentions Andrabi’s tweets in support of Saeed, quoted as, “Our Muhammad bin Qasam arrested by so called muslim rulers of Pak, but Modi remember, every Pakistani is Hafiz u will be forced to leave Kashmir.”, according to the report.

The chargesheet has also referred to a detailed interview of Andrabi carried in Greater Kashmir newspaper and on Pakistan news portal oracleopinion.com.

It has also cited various cases (as many as 39 under Public Safety Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) by Jammu and Kashmir police since the 1990s as evidence.

Against the other two accused, the major part of evidence comprises media interviews, Facebook posts and retweets of Andrabi Tweets, the report states.

Many people from Kashmir including resistance leaders have already been arrested by the investigation agency in connection with the case and have been lodged in Tihar jail in Delhi.

In May, 2018, after the court hearings of Kashmiris booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 and money laundering offences by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, a Delhi High Court administrative order had transferred the case from the court of Additional Sessions Judge Justice Tarun Sehrawat to District and Sessions Judge (DSJ) Poonam A Bamba.

The families of the incarcerated Hurriyat leaders feel that with the transfer, the case status is back a square one.

ALSO READ: Transfer of NIA’s alleged ‘terror funding case’ makes families of detainees feel like they are going in circles

In September, Independent Jammu and Kashmir MLA, Sheikh Abdul Rasheed, popularly known as Engineer Rasheed, was summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), for questioning in a case related to the “funding of terror activities” in the Valley, officials said on Thursday.

In October, United Jihad Council Chief Syed Salahuddin’s son Shahid Yousuf was sent to a seven day NIA custody by a court in New Delhi.

Yousuf was arrested by the NIA and being accused of receiving money from his father in 2011.

On November 1, judicial remand of Dukhtaran-e-Millat chairperson Asiya Andrabi, its secretary general Nahida Nasreen and its spokesperson Fahmeeda Sofi which ended was extended.

NIA also raided the house of a prominent businessman in Lal Bazaar area of  Srinagar.

The alleged terror funding case involves Altaf Ahmad Shah, alias Altaf Fantosh, son-in-law of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali and photojournalist Kamran Yusuf along with nine other accused.

Kamran Yousuf has been given bail, along with one other accused, Javed Bhat, due to lack of evidences.

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