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IIOJK in focus

IIOJK HC grants bail to journalist Fahad Shah after over 21-month illegal detention

Srinagar: The High Court of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir has granted bail to incarcerated Kashmiri journalist and editor of the news portal The Kashmir Walla, Fahad Shah, after he has spent almost two years in jail.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the Indian authorities had booked Fahad Shah under draconian laws, Public Safety Act (PSA), and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

A lawyer representing Fahad Shah in the case told the media that other than granting bail to the journalist, the court also dismissed several serious charges, including “abetting terrorism” and “waging war against India”.

He said that Fahad Shah will continue to face trial under a section of the UAPA and violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) for allegedly receiving funds against the law.

This bail follows the High Court’s earlier decision to quash his detention under the PSA, citing a lack of substantial evidence linking him to a threat to public order.

Fahad Shah was arrested on February 04, last year, for publishing the statements of the families of the victims of a fake encounter in Pulwama district that were contrary to the police claims. He was accused by the police of disseminating anti-India content to create fear among the public. Despite securing bail in three cases, he was booked under the PSA which allows the authorities to detain a person for a period upto two years without trial.

Fahad Shah’s arrest had evoked widespread condemnation from global journalistic bodies.

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