Pune-based radicalised girl detained in Kashmir; likely to be handed over to family

Srinagar: A ‘radicalised’ Pune-based teenage girl was detained by the Jammu and Kashmir Police last night following an intelligence input that she wanted to join banned ISIS terror group, police said here today.

The girl identified as Sadiya Anwar Shaikh, who turned 18 in November last year, had come from Pune and was staying in Bijbehara as a paying guest and planning to join the ISIS, the police have claimed.

However, during her extensive questioning, the school dropout turned out to be having radical thoughts who had fallen prey to false propaganda on social networking site about alleged suffering of the Kashmiri people at the hands of security forces, the officials said.

The state police has got in touch with her mother and aunt and she will be handed over to them as there is no case pending against the detained girl either in the Valley or Maharashtra, they said.

It was a case of misinterpreting an intelligence input by the Jammu and Kashmir police who were informed by central security agencies that a Pune-based girl, who was detained on various occasions by the ATS Pune, had shifted her base to the Valley and that surveillance needs to be mounted.

However, Additional Director General of Police Munir Khan, who is functioning as Inspector General of Police Kashmir range, issued an alert to all districts naming her and claiming she was a suicide bomber planning to disrupt the Republic Day function.

The note signed by Khan said that “there is a strong input” that an 18-year-old non-Kashmiri woman might “cause a suicide bomb explosion” near or inside the Republic Day parade in Kashmir.

“All are directed to please ensure that frisking of ladies at the (venues) is done meticulously and with utmost caution so as to thwart the designs of ANEs (anti-national elements),” the note, circulated on January 23, read.

Today, after understanding the gravity of the faux pas, Khan refused to give any details and said, “We will be talking to her and we will be talking to our sister agencies. We will be covering every other lead to know what the facts are. After doing proper investigation, we will come to any conclusion.”

Shaikh had been questioned by the Pune Anti-Terrorism Squad in 2015, when it came to notice that she had been radicalised after coming in contact with ISIS supporters abroad.

She was planning to travel to Syria, the ATS had then claimed. The woman, a Class 11 student at a Pune college, was subsequently sent for a de-radicalisation programme by the ATS. (PTI)

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