Delhi L-G grants sanction to prosecute Shehla Rashid for tweets about Army

NEW DELHI: Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena has granted sanction to prosecute former JNUSU vice president Shehla Rashid Shora for her tweets on the Indian Army, officials said on Tuesday.

According to officials at the L-G office, the sanction is related to a 2019 FIR registered against her under IPC section 153A at Special Cell police station here on the basis of a complaint by an advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava.

They said the sanction has been granted under section 196 of CrPC, 1973 which relates to prosecution for offences against the State and for criminal conspiracy to commit such offence.

“Section 196 1(a) says no court shall take cognisance of any offence punishable under Chapter VI or under section 153A, of Indian Penal Code… except with the previous sanction of the Central government or of the state government,” the L-G office said.

The former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) leader is accused of promoting enmity between different groups and indulging in acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony through her tweets, officials said.

The tweets by Shora, dated August 18, 2019, had accused the Army of entering houses and “torturing” locals in Kashmir.

The allegations were rejected by the Army as baseless.

The proposal for prosecution sanction moved by the Delhi Police and supported by the Home Department of the city government had submitted that Shora tweeted about the Army on August 18, 2019 — ‘Armed Forces are entering houses at night, picking up boys, ransacking houses, deliberately spilling rations on floor, mixing oil with rice, etc’.

In another tweet, she had said, “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.”

The Home Department had observed that the “nature of case, location to which the tweets refer and making false allegations against the Army make it a serious issue”.

“The tweets by Shora needed to be proceeded against for creating religious fault-lines in J&K and a case was made for prosecution under Section 153A IPC,” it said.

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