The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Vinay Kumar Saxena, has granted prosecution sanction against the former vice-president of JNU and member of All India Students Association (AISA), Shehla Rashid under sedition charges for anti-Army tweets.
The sanction has been approved against Shehla Rashid for making two tweets in 2019 about the Indian Army aimed at “indulging in acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony” and “promoting enmity between different groups”.
In August 2019, Shehla said that the Jammu and Kashmir Police have no authority on law-and-order situations and are rendered powerless. She then accused the Army of entering houses in the night, picking up boys and ransacking the homes.
One of her tweets reads, “Armed Forces are entering houses at night, picking up boys, ransacking houses, deliberately spilling rations on floor, mixing oil with rice, etc.” (12.00 PM on 18.08.2019).
Her second tweet reads, “In Shopian, 04 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 terrorized. This created an environment of fear in the entire area.” (12.00 PM on 18.08.2019)
“Delhi LG VK Saxena grants prosecution sanction against Shehla Rashid, ex-Vice President of JNUSU & member of AISA, for making 2 tweets about the Indian Army aimed at promoting enmity between different groups & indulging in acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony,” Delhi L-G’s office wrote in a statement.
A case was filed against AISA member Shehla Rashid in 2019 after she had claimed in her tweets that the armed forces were “entering houses” in J&K and “picking up boys”.
After the incident, an advocate Alakh Alok Shrivastava, made a complaint regarding the tweets of Shehla Rashid.
A case under the sedition law was filed against her. The Delhi LG has granted the prosecution sanction under section 196 of CrPC, 1973.
However, the Indian Army rejected the claims and stated that the allegations made by Shehla Rashid were baseless. “Such unverified and fake news are spread by inimical elements and organizations to incite unsuspecting population,” the Indian Army had said.
The Home Department, GNCTD, in its observations on file, has observed that “the nature of the case, location to which the tweets refer and making false allegations against the Army makes it a serious issue. Not every tweet is to be proceeded with, under criminal law. But a tweet of this kind, in this case, needs to be processed against Religious fault lines that have been created in J&K by the likes of Ms. Shehla Rashid. The case is made of for prosecution u/s 153A IPC. This relates to public order.”
Shehla Rashid, the freelance protestor-turned-politician, has an illustrious career of peddling fake news and spreading hatred. She is one of those who seems to have got upset after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A in the valley.