NEW DELHI: Indian authorities booked a political leader and activist from occupied Kashmir, Shehla Rashid, under sedition charges over her tweets in which she had said that Indian armed forces tortured civilians and ransacked houses in the disputed territory after its special status was revoked, media reported.
Rashid, a leader of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement, called the charges “frivolous, politically motivated and a pathetic attempt to silence” her.
The activist had been a prominent student leader in the Jawaharlal Nehru University and had served as the vice-president of the students’ union there.
She was also charged for spreading “fake news” with the intention to “malign the image of Indian Army”, police told.
Last month, Rashid took to Twitter and in a series of tweets alleged that Indian armed forces entered houses in occupied Kashmir at night and “ransacked” them. She also alleged that they “interrogated” four Kashmiri people in a camp in Shopian.
In response to the tweets, a lawyer, Alakh Alok Srivastava, had filed a complaint with Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, claiming that Rashid had levelled “absolutely false and concocted” allegations.
Following the complaint, an inquiry was initiated, and later, Rashid was booked under section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code. The case was registered on September 3, officials said.
Rashid, however, stands by her comments and has said that she could give proof if the Indian army was to initiate an inquiry into her claims.