By Muslim Mirror Staff
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday granted bail to 35-year-old Fahad Shah, the editor of the news portal The Kashmir Walla. The court took the decision to quash charges including “abetting terrorism,” “waging war against the country,” and “promoting enmity” under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Shah had been held in custody for a staggering 21 months under the Public Safety Act (PSA) after facing charges under the UAPA relating to the reporting and articles published by his portal since 2011.
A member of Fahad Shah’s legal team stated, “The court granted Mr. Shah bail. We expect his release soon.”
The court notably quashed charges under Section 18 (abetting the commission of a terrorist act), Section 121 (waging war), and Section 153-B (promoting enmity between different groups) of the UAPA. However, he will continue to face trial under Section 13 (inciting unlawful activity) of the UAPA and Sections 35 and 39 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), pertaining to receiving funds in violation of the law.
This development comes seven months after the J&K High Court had previously quashed Shah’s detention under the PSA, asserting that “the apprehension of an adverse impact on public order is a mere surmise of the detaining authority.”
Shah’s arrest dates back to February 2022, triggered by a report on his portal about an encounter in Pulwama. The police accused him of “uploading anti-national content, including photographs, videos, and posts with criminal intention to create fear among the public.”
While Shah has managed to secure bail in three cases, the PSA allows preventive detention for up to two years. His arrest had drawn widespread condemnation from journalists’ bodies both within and outside the country.