Rashid had tweeted on Sunday that the armed forces were “entering houses at night, picking up boys, ransacking houses, deliberately spilling rations on the floor, mixing oil with rice.” She had added that in Shopian, four men were “called into the Army camp and “interrogated”. A microphone, Rashid claimed had been kept close to the suspects to make other inhabitants of the neighbourhood hear them scream, so as to intimidate them. This “created an environment of fear in the entire area”, Shehla Rashid claimed.
The Indian Army has dubbed the allegations as “baseless”. The force condemned the fact that “inimical elements and organisations” were spreading “unverified and fake news… to incite (the) unsuspecting population.” The Army stated, “Allegations levelled by Shehla Rashid are baseless and rejected. Such unverified and fake news is spread by inimical elements and organisations to incite the unsuspecting population.”
Following the rebuttal by the Army, lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava filed a criminal complaint against Rashid for her allegations on the Kashmir situation. The lawyer has sought Rashid’s arrest for allegedly spreading fake news against the Indian Army and the government. Rashid, Srivastava complained, intended to incite the people of Jammu-Kashmir against the government. This, the lawyer said in his complaint, qualified prima facie as an offence of sedition under Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Since this morning as a result, #ArrestShehlaRashid has been trending on Twitter. Shehla Rashid is not alone in her party who is indulging in this false propaganda. Its founder, IAS-turned-politician Shah Faesal had been at it since he quit the civil service. He had, some days ago, given a call for a non-stop movement to free Jammu-Kashmir. Not finding much support in the Indian media, these anti-India forces have reached out to prominent media houses in the West like the BBC that seems forever ready to damn what looks to them like a “Hindu nationalist” government in India led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.