The Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to prosecute nine men for raising the Islamic State group's flag in Srinagar a couple of years ago.
"The government is of the view that there is sufficient material and evidence available against the accused persons for their prosecution," a notification issued by the state's Principal Secretary (Home) RK Goyal stated.
The men have been booked under Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (punishment for taking part in or committing, advocating, abetting, inciting or assisting in any unlawful activity). The act makes it compulsory for the government's sanction for prosecution to be carried out.
The nine men had raised Isis flags at Srinagar's Jamia Masjid after the Friday prayers on October 17 2014, following which the police filed a complaint and investigated the incident.
"The appointed authority by the state government has independently scrutinised the case diary and documents relevant to the case and has come to a conclusion that this is a fit case for accord of prosecution sanction against the accused persons," the notification read. It added that the police have proved a prima facie case against the nine accused.
According to the police, the accused were not "motivated" by the Isis ideology and had raised those flags just to "hurt" the Centre and "garner international attention" towards Kashmir, the Indian Express reported.
A youth from Srinagar working in Australia had reportedly joined Isis in Syria a couple of years ago. The terrorist organisation's flags have been raised several times in the Valley, most of them after the Friday prayers.