Separatist Aasiya Andrabi, 2 others sent to 10-day NIA custody
New Delhi: Aasiya Andrabi and two other Kashmiri separatists were on Friday handed over by a Delhi court to the National Investigating Agency (NIA) for 10 days custodial interrogation in connection with a case of allegedly waging war against the country.
Amid tight security, the trio, who were brought to Delhi from Srinagar, were produced before District and Sessions Judge Poonam Bamba.
During the in-camera proceedings, the judge allowed the plea of the NIA that Andrabi, who is chief of the banned outfit Dukhtaran-e-Milat, and others were required to be quizzed as an investigation has revealed that by their activities in cyberspace they “are running a concerted campaign to solicit support” from terrorist entities from Pakistan.
The NIA had sought the custody of Andrabi and her two associates — Sofi Fehmeeda and Nahida Nasreen– for 15 days.
The lawyers, who were associated with the case, were allowed inside the courtroom and they briefed the waiting media about the court proceedings.
The case was registered against the three women in April this year.
Seeking their custody, the NIA said, “The present investigation has so far revealed that the accused persons are found involved in the conspiracy and acts to severely destabilize the sovereignty and integrity of India.”
“By their activities on the cyberspace they are running a concerted campaign to solicit support of Pakistani establishment which inter-alia includes arranging support from terrorist entities from Pakistan. Their involvement needs further investigation and for this purpose, the interrogation of accused persons has become a necessity.”
The three women have been arrested for the offences under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongful restraint), 336 (endangering life of others), 307 (attempt to murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of Ranbir Penal Code and under relevant provisions of Prevention of Damage of Public Property Act and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
Andrabi, who was in a prison in Srinagar after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court cancelled her bail in June, was brought to Delhi from Kashmir along with her associates.
The NIA, on directions of the Union Home Ministry, registered a case against them as well as the organisation, which is banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, in April this year.
According to the FIR, the “central government has received information that Aasiya Andrabi and her associates namely Sofi Fehmeeda and Nahida Nasreen are actively running a terrorist organization named as ‘Dukhtaran-E-Millat’ (DEM) which is proscribed under the First Schedule to the UAPA”.
“They are using various media platforms to spread insurrectionary imputations and hateful speeches that endanger the integrity, security and sovereignty of India. DEM through Aasiya Andrabi openly advocates secession of Jammu and Kashmir from the Union of India and has also called for Jihad and use of violence against India,” the FIR alleged.
The agency also said in the FIR that Andrabi and her associates had spoken, written and also published “visible representations that bring into hatred and contempt apart from exciting disaffection towards the Government of India”.
The organisation, it added, is promoting enmity, hatred and ill-will between different communities on the grounds of religion and is doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.
Andrabi has solicited help from proscribed terrorist organizations and along with her associates, has entered into a criminal conspiracy to wage war against the Government of India, the FIR alleged.
She was arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir police in Anantnag in April this year for allegedly planning to organise a large-scale demonstration and stone-pelting in the area. She was not released despite being granted bail by the court and was arrested in a different case.
The high court had cancelled the bail of Andrabi and others in the case after police submitted its case diaries and an investigation was carried out. It included the analysis of Andrabi’s phone that purportedly showed that she was in constant touch with militant leaders across the border.