Police files UAPA over ‘Free Kashmir’ banner during Muharram procession

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Police has filed a case under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act – UAPA – against unidentified persons last week in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on charges of raising ‘Free Kashmir’ banner during a mourning procession carried out by Shia Muslims.

As per the First Information Report (FIR) available with The Kashmir Walla, thousands of Shia Muslims were part of the procession on Thursday last week in which a banner of ‘Free Kashmir’ was taken out.

The FIR no. 262/2021 under section 13 UAPA was registered at Police Station Budgam on 20 August 2021.

“Shia Muslims took out a mourning procession in which thousands of people, men , women and children were participating,” the FIR read.

It further reads that the procession was carried out from Mirgund village of Budgam district that headed towards Imambara Budgam. “In one clan among the huge gathering, unidentified mourners were holding a banner on which Free Kashmir was written,” it read.

The FIR added: “By this activity,the country’s integrity is at risk. So, police took action and filed an FIR under 13 ULA.”

It was not immediately clear whether any person has been arrested in the case so far. The police officials did not provide the comment immediately.

Despite repeated attempts to contact them, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Budgam Tahir Saleem and Station House Officer (SHO) Budgam Police Station did not respond to the phone calls.

Ruhullah Mehdi, a prominent Shia politician from Budgam district, said that two people from Shareefabad area of Budgam have been booked under the UAPA for holding a banner reading “Oppressed Kashmir ” on 10 Muharram, also called Ashura.

It was again not clear whether these arrests were linked to the Mirgund procession case or if it was part of a separate case.

“Two guys from Shareefabad held a flag reading ‘Oppressed Kashmir’ in 10th Moharram procession in Budgam. Police responds by booking them under oppressive UAPA to prove that they are not oppressed,” he tweeted.

Mehdi further added: “This model of policing should be adopted by every democracy in the world.”

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