Kashmir Congress leader slams Shehla Rashid, junks claims of Army excess in Valley
The activist had claimed that in Shopian, 4 men were called into the Army camp and tortured. A mic was kept close to them so that the entire area could hear them scream and be terrorised.
August 20, 2019 / 12:53 PM IST
Salman Nizami, the Congress leader from Kashmir, had called out activist Shehla Rashid on August 19, after her allegations against Indian troops deputed in Jammu and Kashmir caused quite a stir on the internet.
He slammed the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement leader for spreading “fake news” against the Indian government and of Army excesses in the Valley in a series of tweets. She had claimed that she had learnt from her sources about Army personnel picking up Kashmiri youth randomly and torturing them.
Defending the actions of the Indian Army to contain disruptive forces in the Valley, Nizami tweeted: “Some stone pelters and separatists were arrested. This is common in Kashmir whenever there is violence like situation. I have confirmed from locals and journalists that no such incident of Indian Army men torturing the youth in the open to terrorise the people has taken place. Kindly do not spread fake news for political gains!”
Shehla Rashid had tweeted on August 18 that local press has been restricted in Jammu and Kashmir and that a shortage of cooking gas has also started to set in. She further alleged that the local police force has been rendered powerless vis-à-vis authority on law and order situation, claiming that the paramilitary forces are handling everything.
The activist then went on to complain that the “armed forces are entering houses at night, picking up boys, ransacking houses, deliberately spilling rations on the floor, mixing oil with rice, etc. In Shopian, four men were called into the Army camp and "interrogated" [tortured]. A mic was kept close to them so that the entire area could hear them scream and be terrorised. This created an environment of fear in the entire area”.
The Indian Army, however, has rejected all the allegations, calling them “baseless”. “Such unverified and fake news is spread by inimical elements and organisations to incite unsuspecting population,” the Army stated.
Moreover, a criminal complaint was also filed against Rashid by Supreme Court lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava for “deliberately spreading fake news”.