IIOJK in focus

Delhi-controlled SIA prepares ground to impose ban on subscription of Digital media in IIOJK

Srinagar, March 30 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, New Delhi-controlled State Investigation Agency (SIA) as part of its gag on free press and freedom of opinion is preparing grounds to impose a ban on digital media platforms.

The SIA has claimed that the subscription model adopted by digital media platforms can be exploited by “unscrupulous elements” to finance and foment trouble in the occupied territory.

The probe agency has stated the same in a chargesheet filed by it against journalists Fahad Shah and Abdul Aala Fazili in a court in Jammu.

On 16 March, the court charge-sheeted Fahad Shah and Abdul Aala Fazili, who were arrested earlier, for an article on Kashmir’s freedom from Indian yoke titled ‘The shackles of slavery will break’. The article was authored by Fazili and published by Shah’s digital magazine, The Kashmir Walla, back in 2011.

As per the chargesheet filed in October 2020, the digital magazine operated on a subscription basis where readers paid a fee.

The SIA claimed that Shah received a total of Rs 9,559,163 in three bank accounts, with one of them purportedly receiving foreign funding of Rs 1,059,163 from Reporters Without Borders, an international non-profit organisation in 2020-21. The chargesheet claimed that the money was sent in three installments, and the account did not qualify for overseas donations as it was not registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).

Reportedly, an account received Rs 58 lakh, of which Rs 30 lakh is foreign contribution via subscription payment, said to be suspicious, the chargesheet claimed.

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