Police Say Arrested Woman SPO Shouted Anti-India Slogans17 April 2021
Srinagar: A day after a woman special police officer (SPO) was arrested in Kulgam district for 'glorifying militancy', police on Saturday said the accused was on its radar as a suspected over-ground worker (OGW) of militants. The police also said it has been found that on various media platforms, a number of vested interests with mala fide intentions have put in a lot of effort into making the incident appear like an 'over-reach' and an 'excessively strict action'. The police's remarks came after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference (NC) criticised the arrest and termination from service of SPO Saima Akhter. 'It is clarified that the accused woman uttered anti-India and pro-freedom slogans off-camera, thus inviting penal action,' a police spokesman said. He said the uttering made on-camera was live streamed 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 the UA(P)Act,' he said. Also, the spokesman said, the accused being a police employee is bound by a code of conduct that was brazenly violated by her. Thus, the concurrent departmental action has been taken against her, he added. The spokesman said the household of the accused is a suspected shelter point of an active Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant - Aslam Dar - and the woman has been on the police radar as a suspected OGW and 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 terrorist when the search operation was underway, he said, adding, it is thus requested that no heed should be paid towards those trying to paint the incident in any hue other than a criminal act . Meanwhile, National Conference denounced the arrest and subsequent termination of a woman special police officer (SPO) for 'glorifying terrorism' in Jammu and 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, 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.