Police arrest Sopore woman for attempt to suicide after her social media videos

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A week after 20-year-old Nighat Bashir accused the army of allegedly harassing her and her family for taking on the drug mafia in her village, Seelu, north Kashmir’s Sopore district, the police have arrested her, and her father Bashir Ahmad Dar, for “misleading the police”.

Last Sunday, Ms. Bashir had threatened on social media to commit suicide alleging harassment by the police and army. Following her tweet and a live session on Facebook, the police went to her residence, Javid Ahmad, Superintendent of Police, Sopore told The Kashmir Walla

“We have arrested her for an attempt [to disrupt] law and order situation,” said Mr. Ahmad. “Her family also mobilized people [to throw stones ] in their locality.” Currently, Ms. Bashir is locked up in the Baramulla Women Police Station.

The other two FIRs, 153/2020 and 154/2020 has been filed by Sopore police, for an attempt to suicide against Nighat Bashir and her father who “misguided the police”. 

“The police officials are investigating why she alleged harassment against army major and made brazen suicide announcement. In the coming times, she might be booked under UAPA for comments against the army in a live video saying that she will remove camps from her area,” district police officials told The Kashmir Walla.

In her first viral videos, Ms. Bashir had accused Manpala, a drug peddler, of enticing her brother, Zakir Bashir, to drugs. Later, she approached the police, who arrested the peddler, along with his six family members, allegedly involved in the drug mafia.

However, on 16 June, Ms. Bashir accused the army personnel of harassment for busting the mafia, in Seelu village.

“After the police arrested the drug peddlers, the army ransacked my house, vandalized my karate trophies, and labeled the incident as the normal search operation,” she alleged in a video that went viral on social media. 

The army’s spokesperson, Rajesh Kalia, denied the allegation when contacted by The Kashmir Walla on 17 June.

However, the concerned police official told The Kashmir Walla, “It was a routine cordon and search operation in the village and her house was searched as a routine operation.”

Four days later, on 20 June, she again tweeted a photo of a damaged two-wheeler. She accused the army of hitting the vehicle and wrote, “None of my family members are safe. Why I [have] been attacked again and again?”

An FIR number 149/2020 was filed under Section-279 and 337 of Indian Penal Code, which involves rash driving on a public way and causing hurt by act endangering life of others. In the investigation, the police official said, one of the persons on the scooter said in the recorded statement that “while riding the scooty from Seelu to Sopore, stray dogs came and we fell. No army vehicle hit us.”

“We have gotten tired but we couldn’t understand what her issue was. Whatever she said is a lie,” reiterated Mr. Ahmad, the SP.

Additional reporting by Marila Latif and Yashraj Sharma

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