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Kashmiri Journalist Asif Sultan Gets Bail After Getting Arrested Under UAPA

Asif Sultan, a Kashmiri journalist jailed under the anti-terror UAPA and the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act since August 2018, has been granted bail by a special court.

This comes about two months after a Srinagar court granted him bail, only for him to be re-arrested the next day under the PSA. He was granted bail after more than six years in jail on accusations of providing logistical support to a banned militant group.

According to prison authorities, he was released after a 78-day wait due to delays in getting the necessary “clearance letters” from Kashmir’s home department and the Srinagar district magistrate.

Previously, he was granted bail in April 2022 but was detained under the PSA before he could be released. In his May 10 order, special judge Mohammad Syed Shah stated that Sultan was arrested “without any reason or rhyme,” declaring him innocent and noting that he had not committed any offense. The judge highlighted that Sultan had been incarcerated for years “without any reasonable justification,” questioning how he could commit a crime while already in detention and being a peaceful citizen.

Another court quashed his detention in December last year, stating that the authorities “did not follow the procedural requirements in letter and spirit.” A BBC report cited Sultan’s colleagues at Kashmir Narrator, saying that he was targeted because of an article he wrote about militant leader Burhan Wani’s death, which had sparked protests.

Today, The Supreme Court ordered the release of another journalist, NewsClick¬†founder and editor Prabir Purkayastha, in¬†the UAPA¬†case after holding that his arrest and remand were “illegal.” The news portal¬†is alleged to have¬†received foreign funds in violation of the FCRA case.

 

 

 

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