Kashmir University PhD student arrested over secessionist article, magazine editor booked under PSA

The State Investigation Agency (SIA), Jammu and Kashmir’s premier investigative agency responsible for investigating and prosecuting terrorism-related cases, has arrested a man for ‘promoting’ secession from the Union Territory of the country through his writings.

According to SIA sources, the agency arrested Abdul Aala Fazili, who was pursuing a doctorate at the University of Kashmir, for writing an article titled “The Chains of Slavery Will Break” in a controversial monthly digital magazine ” The Kashmir Wala”.

The magazine’s editor has previously been convicted under the Public Security Act (PSA) for engaging in anti-national activities.

“The State Investigation Agency, charged with investigating and prosecuting terrorism-related cases in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, conducted searches at several locations in Srinagar. The searches were conducted in connection with the matter registered as FIR 01/2022 u/s 13, 18 UA(P) Act read with sections 121, 124, 153 B and 120-B IPC of the police station JIC ( SIA) Jammu, against the author of the seditious article Abdul Aala Fazili and the publisher and other associates of the monthly digital magazine ‘The Kashmir Wala’,” an SIA spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that, on the one hand, the article is “very provocative, seditious and intended to create trouble in Jammu and Kashmir, written with the aim of inspiring young people to take the path of violence by glorifying terrorism and on the other hand, the writing-up has promoted and propagated the false narrative, which is essential to sustain the secessionist and terrorist campaign aimed at smashing the territorial integrity of India”.

He added, “The article used prescriptive language with an educational intent, encouraging secessionist elements to carry out terrorist activities.”

The sources said the repeated reference to “freedom” and the terror group’s rhetoric “amply shows that the article is not just propaganda.” Rather, it is the articulation of the vision of the Pakistani ISI and its sponsored terrorist group”.

Fazili, BSc Bpharm, Mpharm (Pharmacy), is a Senior Researcher in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Kashmir. He was availing of the MANF (Maulana Azad National Fellowship) from UGC which allowed him to earn Rs 30,000 per month until March 2021. Currently, he is completing his dissertation which is due in June.

Searches for evidence collection by SIA detectives were conducted at the Kashmir Walla office in Rajbagh, at Fazili’s residence in Main Chowk, Humhama, and at the residence of magazine editor Fahad Shah in Soura, Srinagar. The search team seized evidence including computers, laptops and other digital equipment, the spokesperson said.

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