Srinagar: In the wee hours of Friday morning, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) chairperson Aasiya Andrabi and her party’s secretary-general Nahida Nasreen and press secretary Sofi Fehmeeda to New Delhi. Later in the day, the NIA produced the three in Patiala House Court where the judge granted 10-day NIA custody in a case of sedition against them.
DeM sources said that no family member of the three or anyone in the party was informed about the shifting to New Delhi. They said that the three were shifted at about 5am.
On June 28, the NIA registered an FIR on the directions of GoI Home Ministry against Asiya Andrabi, Nahida Nasreen and Sofi Fehmeeda. They have been charged under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 120B, 121, 121A, 124A, 153A, 153B and 505, and Sections 18, 20, 38 and 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The FIR says 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 the maintenance of harmony.
Andrabi, the FIR says, has solicited help from proscribed “terrorist” organisations and along with her associates has entered into a criminal conspiracy to wage war against the Government of India.
In its reaction, the DeM accused the NIA of hijacking Andrabi, Nahida and Sofi from Srinagar Central jail. “This morning, the family members of our party leaders went to meet them at the Central Jail. To their utter shock, the jail authorities informed them that Baaji sahiba and others have been taken to Delhi by NIA,” DeM spokesperson Rifat Fatima said in a statement.
“The family members were told that the trio was airlifted to Delhi at around 5 AM in the morning. How can NIA take them to Delhi while they were serving jail term under judicial custody here?” she questioned.
“This is nothing but hijacking. We don’t know if they have been taken to Delhi or somewhere else, as no contact has been made with them thus far. This is nothing but extreme and worst use of power as three females were hijacked by a so-called Investigation Agency and not even the family members have been informed,” she added.