Hold fair probe: Shehla Rashid after army denies claims of rights abuses in Kashmir

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Hold fair probe: Shehla Rashid after army denies claims of rights abuses in Kashmir

Political activist Shehla Rashid has reacted to the controversy surrounding her comments on the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Shehla Rashid defended her claims about alleged human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir and hit back at those who accused her of "spreading fake news". She also called for a "fair and impartial" probe to be held into the allegations made by her.

Shehla Rashid on Sunday had claimed that the Indian Army was indiscriminately picking up men, raiding houses and torturing people in Jammu and Kashmir.

Reacting to demands that she be arrested for her claims, Shehla Rashid said such demands should not prove to be a distraction from the ground situation in Kashmir.

Rashid claimed human rights abuses are being carried out in Kashmir to serve the agenda of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

"Don't let the topic of my arrest divert your attention from the human rights abuse going on in Kashmir right now. These abuses are not in the service of the nation, but in service of the ruling party's political agenda," Shehla Rashid wrote on Twitter.

She added that given the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir, it would be a "privilege" to be "merely arrested".

"I am an ordinary Kashmiri. In these times, getting merely arrested is a privilege. A 65-year-old man in Srinagar died because he choked on pepper gas being used by the police. A 17-year-old boy was the first documented victim of the current crisis. What is an arrest compared to it?" Shehla Rashid said.

Defending the allegations made by her, Shehla Rashid said that all her tweets were made on the basis of conversations with people on the ground.



Despite the Army's denial of her claims, Shehla Rashid called for a "fair and impartial probe" into the incidents she had mentioned.

WHAT DID SHEHLA RASHID SAY?

Kashmiri political activist Shehla Rashid on Sunday had accused the Indian Army of human rights abuses amid a clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir post the abrogation of Article 370.

In a series of tweets, she said, "People are saying that Jammu and Kashmir Police has no authority on law and order situation. They have been rendered powerless. Everything is in the hands of paramilitary forces. One SHO was transferred on the complaint of a CRPF man. SHOs carrying batons. Service revolvers can't be seen on them."



In another post, she wrote, "Armed forces are entering houses at night, picking up boys, ransacking houses, deliberately spilling rations on the floor, mixing oil with rice, etc."



Rashid also claimed that 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," she wrote.



WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL RESPONSE?

The Indian Army has officially rejected Shehla Rashid's claims and called them "baseless" and "unverified".

Releasing a statement, the Army said, "Allegations levelled by Shehla Rashid are baseless and rejected. Such unverified and fake news is spread by inimical elements and organisations to incite the unsuspecting population."

WHAT IS THE CONTROVERSY?

After the Army dismissed her claims, many accused Shehla Rashid of spreading fake news to disrupt the peace in the Kashmir Valley and called for her arrest.

In fact, Supreme Court lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava has filed a criminal complaint against Shehla Rashid over her allegations on the situation in Kashmir.

In his complaint, Srivastava has sought her arrest for allegedly spreading fake news against the Indian Army and Government of India.