J&K: Journalist Fahad Shah arrested for the third time hours after getting bail
He is the editor-in-chief of news portal ‘The Kashmir Walla’.
The Srinagar Police on Saturday arrested journalist Fahad Shah in connection with a third case, hours after he was granted bail by a Shopian court in a separate matter, The Kashmir Walla said in a statement.
Shah is the editor-in-chief of news portal The Kashmir Walla. This is the third time he has been arrested in over a month.
The journalist was earlier arrested on February 4 by Pulwama Police for posting allegedly anti-national content on social media. He was granted bail after 22 days by a National Investigation Agency court.
However, hours after he secured bail, he was arrested again by the Shopian Police in a separate case on February 26.
In Sunday’s statement, The Kashmir Walla said that Shah was re-arrested by the Srinagar Police in a case against the news portal for its reporting in May 2020. He is lodged at the Safadkal police station.
Shah has been charged under Sections 147 (rioting), 307 (attempt to murder), 109 (abetment), 501 (printing or engraving defamatory matter) and 505 (public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.
The news portal said that while granting bail to Fahad, the Shopian court had noted that granting bail was a rule and its refusal an exception.
“In a barbaric society you can hardly ask for bail,” Shopian Magistrate Sayeem Qayoom observed. “In a civilised society, you can hardly refuse it.”
The news portal added that Shah’s legal team would soon move another new bail application for his release.
“The Kashmir Walla team continue to repose the faith in judiciary and the supremacy of law,” the statement said. “The team continues to stand strongly behind Fahad and his family in this time of distress as we reiterate our appeal to Manoj Sinha-led Jammu and Kashmir administration for the immediate release of Fahad.”
On February 5, the Jammu and Kashmir Police had said that he is wanted for “glorifying terrorism, spreading fake news and inciting general public for creating law and order situation”.
On February 6, several press bodies, including the Editors Guild, had demanded that Shah be released immediately. The Editors Guild had asked the authorities in the Union Territory to ensure that FIRs, intimidatory questioning and wrongful detainment was not used as tools for suppressing press freedom.