Jammu & Kashmir

Court quashes PSA charges against Kashmiri journalist Fahad Shah

Fahad Shah. [File Photo]

Srinagar: The case lodged under the Public Safety Act (PSA) against Kashmiri journalist Fahad Shah was quashed by the High Court of JK and Ladakh on Thursday. Fahad, the editor of Kashmir Walla magazine, is currently lodged in Kot Bhalwal jail of Jammu.

Fahad was first arrested on February 4, 2022, after which the police said that Fahad allegedly ‘glorified militancy, spread fake news, and incited people of Jammu and Kashmir’.

The police had also said that three separate First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered against Fahad.

“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 and FIR No. 19/2022 of PS Pulwama,” the police statement had mentioned.

Fahad was first arrested in FIR No. 19/2022 registered by Pulwama police, for which interim bail was granted by the special court in Srinagar. He was then arrested by the Shopian Police in FIR No 06/2021, for which the Munsif court granted him interim bail. He was then arrested by Srinagar police.

Jammu and Kashmir Police later booked him under the public safety act and shifted him to central jail in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Earlier, various international press freedom bodies and rights groups demanded the journalist’s release on an immediate basis.

Pertinently, three journalists from Kashmir Fahad Shah, Asif Sultan and Sajad Gul are among five journalists of India who are currently facing detention under various sections of the law, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said on December 8, 2022.

Journalists, Siddique Kappan of Kerala and Manan Dar of Kashmir, who were also mentioned in CPJ report, were released on bail recently. Dar was released on January 2, 2023, and Kappan on February 2, 2023.

Dar was arrested on 22 October 2021 for over a year, and Kappan was released 28 months after he was arrested, along with three others, near Mathura while going towards Hathras, where a Dalit girl had been raped and killed by Hindu men.

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