The Special Cell of Delhi Police lodged a first information report against activist and former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Shehla Rashid for allegedly tweeting false information about the Indian Army, ANI reported. She has been charged with sedition. The complaint was filed by Supreme Court lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava last month.

On August 18, Rashid had tweeted that Indian Army personnel had tortured four men in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, placing a microphone next to them “so that the entire area could hear them scream, and be terrorised”. The allegation was made as part of a Twitter thread in which Rashid recounted what she had heard from people who had travelled out of Kashmir. The Valley was placed in a lockdown on August 5 as the Centre revoked the state’s special constitutional status and split it into two Union Territories. The restrictions are now being lifted gradually.

“FIR has been registered under IPC Section 124A [sedition], 153A [promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, and acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony], 153 [wantedly giving provocation with intent to cause riot],” a police officer told The Hindu.

Rashid’s allegations were refuted as “baseless” by the Indian Army. The day after her tweets, Srivastava filed the criminal complaint.

In a statement on Friday, Rashid said that the FIR was a “frivolous, politically motivated and pathetic attempt” to silence her. “In my tweets, I have clearly mentioned that these are based on information received from people in the state,” she said.

The activist said that in a situation where journalists were not allowed to report and communication had been cut off, it was necessary to “put out narratives of the people” so that the rest of country could know what was happening there. “In the Twitter thread for which I’m being targeted, I have highlighted the positive work of the administration in ensuring facilities to the people,” her statement read. “That itself is proof enough that I have no motive except to shine light on the truth, which is corroborated by several media reports published in India and elsewhere.” Rashid also urged everyone to stand with Kashmiris “in the fight for restoration of their rights”.

In an interview to, Rashid said she received the information from a person who had travelled from Shopian to Delhi. “I know the exact details of the place where this happened but I do not want to give them away in case a state agency may go there,” she added. “Time will prove who is right and who is wrong. I am not lying. If anything, this should make the government more alert to avoid such abuse of human rights.”

Asked if she had verified the information, Rashid said: “How can you verify when the government has shut down newspapers and all other communications? It is impossible to verify and that is not my fault.” She pointed out that as an activist, it was her job to make people aware of the situation. “I believe it to be the truth,” Rashid added. “These are real stories of real people. And my purpose is to highlight them without any exaggeration.”

She said she had not hesitated before putting out the information. “[Shah] Faesal also wrote similar posts about the situation before being detained,” Rashid told “When the government acts like a bully then this is the best we can get. There were several rumours going around, like the killing of two photojournalists. But I did not put that information out because I later checked and it was false.”

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‘The government is a bully’: Shehla Rashid on why she tweeted information she could not verify