‘Committee to Protect Journalists’ Asia demands Fahad Shah’s release Police say he was ‘glorifying’ militancy, spreading ‘fake’ news

Srinagar: Police on Saturday said that Kashmiri Journalist Fahad Shah was ‘glorifying’ militancy and three cases had been registered against him in different militancy-related incidents.

Fahad Shah-who runs a weekly newspaper ‘The Kashmir Walla’ and a news portal by the same name is on police remand after he was arrested for his reportage on Pulwama encounter.

Shah, a resident of Anchar Soura area of Srinagar city runs his office from Raj Bagh locality of Srinagar. Police in a tweet said that Fahad Shah has been arrested on the basis of one of the three FIRs lodged against him for glorifying militancy.

Police also accused him of spreading ‘fake’ news and ‘instigating people, for the past 3 to 4 years.

Police said ‘fake news’ spread by Fahad Shah had the potential to disturb the law and order situation in Kashmir Valley.

There are 3 FIRs registered against him, one in Srinagar and two in South Kashmir’s Shopian and Pulwama districts.

Shah as per police has been arrested in FIR registered by police in Pulwama District. Police accused him of spreading ‘incorrect’ information about the Pulwama encounter in which 4 militants were killed, however, ‘The Kashmir Walla’ that covered both police version and protest from family reported that one among the slain was the son of the house owner.

Police in a statement had clarified that all the four persons killed in Naira Pulwama encounter were militants affiliated with the banned outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad while the house owner’s son had joined militant ranks recently.

Last year, the police in Imam Sahab Shopian had filed a First Information Report (FIR) against The Kashmir Walla’ following an army complaint that a news report about a Shopian-based school being “pressurized” by them to hold a Republic Day function is “baseless”.

‘The Kashmir Wallah quoting school administration had reported that the army’s 44 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) had been pressuring the institution “for a month” to hold the Republic-Day’ event, a report that was refuted by the Army.

An FIR also stands registered against Fahad Shah and his non-local employee at Safa Kadal Police Station of Srinagar for an alleged ‘incorrect’ news report.

Shortly after the arrest of Fahad Shah on Friday evening, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti took to Twitter and wrote: “Standing up for the truth is deemed anti-national. Showing the mirror to a deeply intolerant & authoritarian government is also anti-national. Fahad’s journalistic work speaks for itself & depicts the ground reality unpalatable to GOI. How many Fahad’s will you arrest?”

The Committee to Protect Journalists Asia (CPJ) while demanding the release of Fahad Shah has pinned a tweet about his arrest with the caption: “#Kashmir: Authorities must immediately and unconditionally release journalist Fahad Shah (@pzfahad), drop any investigation into his work, and cease detaining members of the press.” (KNT)

Neyaz Elahi

Neyaz Elahi, who switched from Electronic to Print Media is a Kashmir based Accredited Journalist who has written extensively on Kashmir for local, national and international web portals. He is currently associated with Srinagar based News Agency Kashmir News Trust (KNT).

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