Kashmiri journalist arrested; Police claims “involved in militancy case”

Aasif Sultan
Aasif Sultan

Srinagar: A Kashmir based journalist continues to be under police custody for the sixth consecutive day on Saturday.

Aasif Sultan, who works as an assistant editor of a monthly Srinagar based magazine Kashmir Narrator, was picked by police during a night raid on last Monday, as per the family.

A top police official, on condition of anonymity, told The Kashmir Walla that there is a “credible case against him [Sultan].” The official added that Sultan has “figured in the recent busting of militant hideout in Batamaloo.”

“There is credible prima-facie digital evidence establishing his role in the conspiracy of the Batamaloo terrorist hideout, and it is for the court to decide now,” said the official.

On Tuesday, when the detention of the news had reached to Showkat Motta, the Editor of Narrator, he contacted some police officials for whereabouts. “I was not told the reasons of his detention,” Motta told The Kashmir Walla over phone.

Three days later, Motta along with another friend went to the Batamaloo Police Station to know the status. “They kept us waiting for hours and when we were allowed to meet the official, they started asking us the irrelevant questions about Aasif’s work,” added Motta.

In custody, Motta said that he was also asked by a police official, “What is his [Sultan] political ideology?” He also added that Aasif was asked “why doesn’t he work as a source when he has such contacts.”

Sultan’s house was raided at around 1:45am on Tuesday. “More than 15 vehicles were rowed outside the gate and 100s of policemen had jumped over the fence. His one-year-old daughter started crying when they took her father into a vehicle, which was placed right outside the gate,” said Motta.

Motta says that the journalist has been “treated like a wanted criminal as if he has done a big crime; also abused in the custody.”

Earlier a statement issued by his the magazine said that the police has questioned Sultan for his cover story on Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, who was killed on 8 July 2016.

The police has also seized his laptop, cell phones and other documents during the raid.

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