A Delhi court directed the police on Friday to give at least 10-day notice to Kashmiri political activist Shehla Rashid before arresting her in the sedition case if at all the need arises. Rashid was booked on September 6 for posting controversial tweets about alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. The court pronounced the instruction to the police while dismissing Rashid’s anticipatory bail as the Investigation Officer (IO) told the court that the probe was at a preliminary stage.

“Keeping in view the nature of allegations and also considering the submissions of the IO that investigation is at a primary stage, anticipatory bail application is disposed of with directions to the IO that if the need arises for the arrest of the accused, she be issued a ten days pre-arrest notice,” Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora said News 18.

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On September 10, the court had directed Rashid to cooperate with the investigation as and when the IO summons her.

A Supreme Court lawyer Alok Srivastav sought the arrest of Rashid for allegedly spreading false information about the situation in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370. The police filed an FIR against Rashid under IPC Section 124-A (sedition), 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 153 (wantedly giving provocation with intent to cause riot)

In a series of tweets on August 17, Rashid had openly accused the Indian Army of torturing people in Jammu and Kashmir post the abrogation of Article 370.

“People are saying that Jammu and Kashmir Police has no authority on law and order situation. They have been rendered powerless. Everything is in the hands of paramilitary forces. One SHO was transferred on the complaint of a CRPF man. SHOs carrying batons. Service revolvers can’t be seen on them,” Shehla Rashid had tweeted.

In another post, she wrote, “Armed forces are entering houses at night, picking up boys, ransacking houses, deliberately spilling rations on the floor, mixing oil with rice, etc.” The Army, however, has rubbished allegations of fake news spread by Rashid and in a statement had referred to her charges as “baseless.”

ALSO READ: ‘Murder of Democracy’ Says Shehla Rashid, Quits Electoral Politics

“Keeping in view the nature of allegations and also considering the submissions of the IO that investigation is at a primary stage, anticipatory bail application is disposed of with directions to the IO that if the need arises for the arrest of the accused, she be issued a ten days pre-arrest notice”

A few weeks after Rashid was booked, she quit active electoral politics on October 9. She joined Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement (JKPM) party which was founded on March 16, 2019 by Shah Faesal, the former bureaucrat of Jammu and Kashmir.

Rashid took this step after the declaration of the Block Development Council (BDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir on October 24. Rashid, in her statement, said, “In view of mounting international pressure on the Indian government to end the siege in Kashmir, the centre now wants to showcase a sham electoral exercise in order to convince the world that it is still a democracy. However, what is underway is not a democracy, but the murder of democracy.”

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