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Aasiya Andrabi, the chief of Dukhtaran-e-Milat (DEM) and her two aides were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday on charges of sedition and waging war against government of India.

The central investigative agency had registered a case RC-17/2018/NIA/DLI dated 27/04/2018 at NIA Police station, Delhi in this connection in April, this year. The charges were framed against Aasiya Andrabi, her personal secretary Fehmeeda Sofi and DEM General Secretary Nahida Nasreen. All of them were taken into custody by NIA persons from Central Jail Srinagar where they were placed under detention. Meanwhile, the trio were produced before the special court in New Delhi. However, the court remanded them to NIA custody for 10 days for interrogation and investigation. It is surprising that first time, the probe agency will be questioning Andrabi and her colleagues in Delhi.

The charges that were slapped by NIA against them are under sections 18, 20, 38 and 39 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 and Sections 120 B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy), 121 (Waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against Government of India), 121A (Conspiracy to commit offences punishable by section 121), 124A (Sedition), 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 153B (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505 (Statements conducing public mischief) of Indian Penal Code.

In May 2017, 55-year-old Andrabi and Sofi were arrested under the Public Safety Act (PSA) for allegedly inciting protests and taking part in unlawful activities and were lodged in Amphalla jail in Jammu. On August 31 last year, the Jammu and Kashmir High court quashed the PSA order against them.

The central probe agency further accused Andrabi of seeking help from other militant organisations to wage war against India. “They have been continuously indulging in acts that are prejudicial to maintenance of harmony and sovereignty and integrity of India.”
The arrests follow a day after union home minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the security situation and developmental issues in the state at a high-level meeting with Governor NN Vohra in Srinagar, which was also attended by national security adviser Ajit Doval, union home secretary Rajiv Gauba and other officers of the state.

Meanwhile the spokesperson of Jammat-e-Islami (JeI) Jammu and Kashmir on Friday condemned the arrest of the trio and vehemently denounced the shifting of these women leaders to Delhi by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). In a statement, JeI said that these women leaders were already interrogated by the NIA at the Srinagar Central Jail.


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