Sedition case: Delhi L-G allows prosecution of Shehla Rashid
Delhi's Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena allowed the prosecution of former Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) vice-president Shehla Rashid in the 2019 sedition case. The case pertains to alleged anti-army tweets posted by Rashid in 2019. Notably, the proposal for the prosecution sanction was moved by the Delhi Police and supported by the Delhi Home Department.
Why does this story matter?
- The development comes at a time when former JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar is already undergoing trials in a separate sedition case over alleged anti-India slogans on the JNU campus.
- Delhi government had also given nod to his sanction, which was long been pending.
- Other indicted in the case include Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Aakib Hussain, Mujib, Amar Gul, Bashrat Ali, and Khalid Basir.
What did Delhi L-G office say?
"Delhi L-G VK Saxena grants prosecution sanction against Shehla Rashid, ex-Vice President of JNUSU and member of All India Students Association (AISA), for making two tweets about the Indian Army," reads the statement by Delhi L-G's office. It claimed that the tweets were aimed at "promoting enmity between different groups" and "indulging in acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony."
Sanction pertains to 2019 case filed under various IPC sections
The sanction is related to a 2019 FIR against Rashid under various Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections, including Section 124A (sedition), registered at Delhi's Special Cell Police Station following a complaint by Supreme Court lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava, per India Today. The case was filed against her over her tweets claiming that the Indian Army personnel forcefully entered houses in Jammu and Kashmir.
Tweets that invited sedition charges against ex-JNU vice-president
One of her tweets posted in August 2019 read, "Armed Forces are entering houses at night, picking up boys, ransacking houses, deliberately spilling rations on the floor, mixing oil with rice, etc." Another tweet claimed that 04 men were called into the Army Camp in Shopian and allegedly tortured while their screams were broadcast on loudspeakers, which created fear in the entire area.
Indian Army had termed her claims baseless, unverified
The allegations by Rashid had drawn sharp reactions. However, she had said she was ready to give the evidence when the Indian Army constitutes an inquiry. The allegations were later rejected by the Indian Army as "baseless" and "unverified." Later, Srivastava sought her arrest for allegedly spreading fake news against the Army and the Government of India.