After human rights defender and Kashmir People’s Movement chief, Shehla Rashid took to Twitter to share people’s concerns in Jammu and Kashmir, an SC lawyer today filed a criminal complaint against her. Lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava demands immediate arrest of Rashid and says in the complaint that her tweets have shown discontentment with the government—an offence of Sedition under Section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

On Sunday evening, Rashid posted a Twitter thread expounding on the situation in J&K with respect to the communication blackout and how the Kashmiris in the state-turned-union-territory are holding up. She also alleged, “Armed forces are entering houses at night, picking up boys, ransacking houses, deliberately spilling rations on the floor, mixing oil with rice, etc.”

“In Shopian, four men were called into the Army camp and “interrogated” (tortured). A mic was kept close to them so that the entire area could hear them scream, and be terrorized. This created an environment of fear in the entire area,” she added in another tweet. This hasn’t gone down well with netizens who have trolled Rashid massively in a matter of a few hours.

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It also raked up a response from the Indian Army stationed in J&K as it called the allegations levelled by Rashid “baseless and rejected.” “Such unverified & fake news are spread by inimical elements and organisations to incite unsuspecting population,” Army said, ANI tweeted.

Shehla told The Wire about her conversations with people on the ground in J&K and how she stands by her words. “Let the Indian Army conduct an impartial investigation. I’ll be happy to share details with them. My thread is quite balanced. I’ve pointed out the positive work of the administration too. All the ten points are based on conversations with people,” she said.

“Don’t let the topic of my arrest divert your attention from the human rights abuse going on in #Kashmir right now. These abuses are not in the service of the nation but in service of the ruling party’s political agenda. If I do get arrested, share this thread with the world,”

She also reacted on the sedition charges filed against her on Twitter and said that “in current times, for her being a Kashmiri, getting merely arrested is a privilege.”

“Let the Indian Army conduct an impartial investigation. I’ll be happy to share details with them. My thread is quite balanced. I’ve pointed out the positive work of the administration too. All the ten points are based on conversations with people”

“Don’t let the topic of my arrest divert your attention from the human rights abuse going on in #Kashmir right now. These abuses are not in the service of the nation but in service of the ruling party’s political agenda. If I do get arrested, share this thread with the world,” she added.

Rashid’s commentary comes 15 days after Kashmir’s special status has been stripped after the central government revoked Article 370 and 35A. Since the government took the giant step and converted J&K into a UT, they have also deployed an unprecedented number of army personnel in the region to curb conflict. For two weeks, communication has been snapped in the area and curfew continues affecting the people of Kashmir.

Picture credit: The Quint

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