The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Thursday filed a chargesheet against journalist Asif Sultan and nine others for allegedly hatching a criminal conspiracy for a militant act in Srinagar’s Batamaloo in 2018.
Sultan was taken into police custody in August last year after he wrote a story on militant Burhan Wani, who was killed in an encounter in July 2017. The story included interviews with non-combatant members of the Hizbul Mujahideen militant group.
A police constable was killed in a shootout in Batamaloo on August 12, 2018, while militants had escaped. The police has alleged that the accused had provided shelter to the militants.
“They have been charged for their alleged role in hatching a criminal conspiracy for the militant act, harbouring militants and giving support to the proscribed organisation besides substantive offences of law,” the police said in a statement.
United States-based Committee to Protect Journalists had last year urged Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik to release the journalist and drop all legal proceedings against him. The Kashmir Editors’ Guild had also demanded that the police make public the charges against Sultan, while the Kashmir Working Journalist Association had demanded disciplinary action against police officials for violating an individual’s fundamental rights.