Post jail release, Kashmiri journalist booked under Public Safety Act

32-year-old Kashmiri journalist Asif Sultan was detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA) on Sunday. The detention comes immediately after Sultan was released from jail.

The journalist spent 1317 days in jail for being charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). He was granted bail by a special court of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on April 5.

As per media reports, Sultan was released from Srinagar’s central jail soon after his bail was granted. However, officers of the Counter Intelligence Kashmir nabbed him soon after and transferred to Batamaloo police station on April 6.

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Earlier, Sultan was arrested in August 2018 by police and paramilitary forces following an FIR registered in Batamaloo, accusing him of “harbouring known militants”. He was charge sheeted under six UAPA crimes and six sections of the Indian Penal Code.

The IPC charges were culpable homicide, attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy. The UAPA charges against Sultan were ‘punishment for terrorist act’, ‘conspiracy’, voluntarily harbouring terrorists, being a member of a ‘terrorist gang’/‘terrorist organisation’, and supporting a terrorist organisation.

What is the Public Safety Act?

The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 is a preventive detention law under which a person is taken into custody to prevent them from acting harmfully against “the security of the state or the maintenance of the public order” in Jammu and Kashmir.

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