A special National Investigation Agency court has framed charges against Kashmiri journalist Fahad Shah and academician Abdul Aala Fazili for writing and publishing a “seditious” article on a news website, PTI reported.

The case was filed following the publication of an article titled “The Shackles of Slavery Will Break”, written by Fazili and published on the news website The Kashmir Walla, the editor-in-chief of which is Shah. the State Investigation Agency claimed that the article was found to be “against national integration and supported the claim of secession of a part of the country’s territory”.

An unidentified official told the news agency that Shah and Fazili attempted to spread an anti-India narrative “by exploiting digital platforms under a concealed and camouflaged setup, with the help of illicit funding received from hostile foreign agencies and proscribed terrorist organisations”.

The special court found that the State Investigation had collected sufficient material against Shah and Fazili and framed charges against them.

The two have been charged under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act’s section 13 (unlawful activity) and 18 (conspiracy, advocating, abetting, inciting, facilitating a terrorist act or any preparation to commit a terrorist act).

Fazili, an academician from the Kashmir University, has also been booked under sections 121 (abetting waging of war against government of India), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) of the Indian Penal Code.

Shah has been charged under sections 121 and 153-B of the Indian Penal Code and Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act’s sections 35 (accepting foreign contribution in contravention of provisions of FCRA, or any order or rule therein) and 39 (violation of FCRA by a company tantamount to contravention by the persons in charge or responsible for business of such company).

The Pulwama Police had arrested Shah in February last year for posting allegedly anti-national content on social media and was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Meanwhile, Fazili was arrested on April 17.