Jammu & Kashmir

Two months after re-arrest under PSA, Kashmiri journalist Asif Sultan gets bail

Asif Sultan.

Srinagar: Kashmiri journalist Asif Sultan, detained since August 2018 under the anti-terror UAPA and the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, has been granted bail by a special court.

This decision comes about two months after Asif was granted bail by a Srinagar court, only to be re-arrested the next day under the PSA. The bail followed over six years of imprisonment on charges of aiding a banned militant group.

After a 78-day wait, he was released, with prison officials attributing the delay to necessary “clearance letters” from Kashmir’s home department and the Srinagar district magistrate.

Previously, he was granted bail in April 2022 but was detained under the PSA before his release.

In a May 10 order, special judge Sandeep Gandotra stated that the bail was granted because the police had arrested Asif “without any reason or rhyme… he is innocent and has not committed any offence whatsoever.”

The order highlighted that Sultan had been imprisoned for years “without any reasonable justification,” and questioned how he could commit a crime while already in detention, describing him as a peaceful citizen.

In December last year, another court had quashed his detention, noting that the authorities had not adhered to procedural requirements properly.

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