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NC denounces woman SPO’s arrest in Kulgam, terms it ‘vindictive’

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Srinagar: National Conference on Saturday denounced the arrest and subsequent termination of a woman special police officer (SPO) for “glorifying terrorism” in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district, terming the measure “vindictive”.

Saima Akhter, a resident of Frisal area of south Kashmir district and working as SPO, was on Friday arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), a police spokesperson said.

In a joint statement issued here, NC’s spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar and district president Kulgam Abdul Majeed Bhat Larmi, said, “The NC denounces the booking and subsequent termination of Saima Akhter of Karewa Mohalla, Frisal, Kulgam serving as SPO and terms the measure uncalled for and vindictive.”

The NC leaders said the strict measures against the woman SPO are “revengeful” in nature.

“The measure has been taken after a video started making rounds on the social media platform in which Akhter was apparently outraged by the frequent searches of security forces at her house in Frisal,” they said.

The NC leaders said if the woman was at all involved in any militancy activity, she should have been brought to justice by the concerned authorities much before the video surfaced.

“It was only after the video went viral that she was terminated and booked. The entire sequence of events has raised questions on the whole exercise. The action of slapping the UAPA on her, locals of the area also allege, has been taken with malafide intentions,” they said in the statement.

The NC leaders said the woman reportedly is the only bread earner for her family, which besides her, comprises her ailing and aging parents.

“The disproportionate action against the said woman comes as a surprise also since no punitive action was taken against the mob which had beaten an on duty police officer to pulp at New Delhi the other day.

“While the woman from Frisal, who has been arrested, has only pointed to the predicaments suffered by her family in the wake of intermittent night raids by the security forces,” they said.

The duo impressed upon the government to compassionately look at the issue and ensure that no clean-handed person is subjected to any quandary.

The police spokesperson on Friday said that on April 14, security forces launched a search operation in Karewa Mohallah of village Frisal on a specific input regarding the presence of militants there.

During the search operation, he said, the search party was obstructed by the woman SPO.

“The lady resisted the search party and turned violent and uttered statements glorifying violent actions of terrorists,” the spokesperson said.


Police issues clarification on SPO’s arrest

Srinagar, Apr 17: Police on Saturday reiterated that the woman SPO of Frisal Kulgam who had been sacked and arrested had “uttered anti-India and pro-freedom slogans off-camera thus inviting penal action under ULA(P)Act.”

In a statement here, police spokesperson said “the uttering made on-camera was livestreamed for further dissemination on diverse social media platforms with the intention to cause disruption of an ongoing operation and to incite disaffection towards the state. This is punishable under the Indian Penal Code and ULA(P)Act.”

The statement also said that the accused being a police employee “is bound by a code of conduct which was brazenly violated by her. Thus the concurrent departmental action has been taken against her.”

“The household of the accused is a suspected shelter point of an active Hizb-ul-Mujahidin militant Aslam Dar and the woman has been on police radar as a suspected OGW; thus was subjected to search. It remains to be investigated whether her act was meant as a disruption tactic to aid escape of the said militant when the search operation was underway,” the statement said.


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