Jailed Kashmiri journalist Fahad Shah who was booked under draconian UAPA a month ago, has been booked under the same draconian act for the second time, his counsel Umair Ronga said on Friday.
Ronga said that the editor-in-chief of news portal The Kashmir Walla was on Friday remanded to police custody for five days in a case filed against the news portal in Srinagar for its reporting in May 2020.
Shah, one of the prominent young journalists in the Valley, was arrested in the Srinagar case on 5 March, hours after he was granted bail by a Shopian court in a separate matter. This was the third time that Shah has been arrested since 4 February.
Srinagar police registered an additional first information report against Shah on 9 July 2020, accusing him of violating five sections of the Indian penal code pertaining to rioting, attempted murder, printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory, statements conducing to public mischief, and abetment according to The Kashmir Walla.
Police initially arrested Shah on 4 February for allegedly publishing “anti-national content,” and began investigating him for sedition and making statements causing public mischief under the Indian penal code and the anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
On 27 February, Shah was granted bail in that case, but Shopian police re-arrested him in relation to The Kashmir Walla’s reporting on alleged official pressure on a Kashmir school and began investigating him on provocation with intent to cause a riot and publishing statements conducive to public mischief, both crimes under the Indian penal code.
On 6 March, the Shopian judicial magistrate granted him bail but Srinagar police again re-arrested Shah in relation to The Kashmir Walla’s reporting on a gun fight between armed forces and alleged militants in May 2020.
In February, 57 publications, press freedom groups, and human rights organizations including CPJ wrote a letter to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha demanding Shah’s release, along with Sajad Gul, Aasif Sultan and Manan Gulzar Dar.
This article first appeared on maktoobmedia.com