Arrested for glorifying terrorists and spreading fake news to incite violence in Kashmir Valley, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court upheld the FIR registered against Fahad Shah, editor-in-chief of the online news portal-"thekashmirwalla".
Justice V C Koul of J&K High Court dismissed the plea challenging the FIR and said the allegations contained in the complaint on the basis of which the FIR in question has been registered allege the commission of offenses punishable under Section 153, 505 IPC, which requires to be investigated by the police.
The arrested editor-in-chief, through his lawyer, has filed a petition seeking the quashing of the FIR against him in a police station.
Fahad Shah was arrested in three cases for glorifying terrorism, spreading fake news, and inciting the general public for creating law and order situations. FIR No. 70/2020 of Police Station Safakadal Srinagar, FIR No. 06/2021 of Police Station Imamsahib, Shopian, and FIR No. 19/2022 of Police Station Pulwama.
One FIR has been registered on the basis of a written complaint made in Police Station Imam Sahib Shopian. In the complaint, it is that the media outlets have published an article on their news portal claiming that the Army has forced the school authorities to celebrate Republic Day.
The complainant had also alleged that the spreading of such kind of fake news is bound to cause serious concern for security and can create a law and order situation.
During the course of the investigation, as per the status report filed by the prosecution, the statement of the chairman of the school was recorded, wherein he stated that the allegation made against the Army were baseless and the article published against the Army was found to be fake. The investigation of the case is underway.
Editor-in-chief arrested in February
Fahad Shah, editor-in-chief of the online news portal – "thekashmirwalla" was arrested in February this year for glorifying terrorism and spreading fake news to incite violence in Kashmir Valley.
He was arrested for his alleged involvement in uploading anti-national content on social media. Fahad Shah was wanted in three cases for glorifying terrorism, spreading fake news, and inciting the general public for creating law and order situations.
Police registered a case on a news portal after getting information about uploading anti-national content on social media platforms.
According to police, uploading such posts is tantamount to glorifying terrorist activities and causing a dent in law enforcement agencies' image besides causing ill will and disaffection against the country.
Pulwama Police while taking cognizance of the matter registered a case vide FIR No. 19/2022 under relevant sections of the law and initiated the investigation.
Shah was called for questioning by the police on February 1. On Friday, he was called to record his statement at the Pulwama police station after which the police issued the statement confirming his arrest.