SIA files chargesheet against journalist, PhD scholar in ‘narrative militancy’ case

SRINAGAR — The State Investigation Agency (SIA) of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday filed a chargesheet against a digital magazine editor and a PhD scholar in a “narrative militancy” case here.

Accused Peerzaada Fahad Shah, editor of monthly online magazine ‘Kashmirwalla’ and a resident of Srinagar, and Aala Fazili of Budgam have been booked under the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the SIA said in a statement here.

While Shah was arrested on February 5 for “glorifying militancy, spreading fake news, and inciting the public against law and order”, Fazili, a PhD scholar at the University of Kashmir, was arrested on April 17 for his “highly provocative and seditious” article in the online magazine.

“The case relates to narrative militancy wherein as part of a criminal conspiracy to spread militancy and create a false narrative, accused Fazili, by his highly provocative and seditious write-up, intended to create unrest, and aid and abet the gullible youth to take the path of violence,” the SIA said in the statement.

It said the article was found to be “against national integration and supported the claim of secession of a part of the country’s territory, challenged sovereignty and territorial integrity, glorified violence, and advocated and abetted commission of militant acts”.

The SIA alleged that Shah intentionally conspired with Fazili and published the article, and this led to an increase in militancy and unlawful activities across Jammu and Kashmir.

Calling the duo “contaminated and compromised media persons”, the SIA said their end objective was to “create, sustain, and spread disaffection, hatred and enmity against the Indian State”.

“Their interim objective was to preserve Pakistani influence by manipulating and playing with facts, subtly or brazenly, by putting information without context or out of context or selective reporting or selective exaggeration or underplaying or muting others and by craftily and cunningly invoking the legal rights to press freedom and political dissent guaranteed by the very Indian State which they wanted to undermine,” the statement read. — (PTI)