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NIA, SIA Raid J&K Journalist Fahad Shah’s residence and ‘The Kashmir Walla’ Office

Photo Source: Fahad Shah and The Kashmir Walla Twitter

The residence and office of Fahad Shah, the Kashmir-based journalist and the founding editor of The Kashmir Walla who has been in prison since February, were raided on Sunday by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the State Investigation Agency (SIA).


“The searches were conducted in connection with cases already registered against Fahad Shah at the SIA and the NIA,” a police official told The Tribune.

However, Shah’s counsel Umair Ronga informed Silverscreen India that a fresh FIR has been registered on Sunday which is related to an article published in 2011 by a PhD scholar named Ala Fazil, who has also been arrested on the day of the raid.

“They are planning to keep him (Shah) for long,” said Ronga. He also informed Silverscreen India that he will approach the court to seek a report from the concerned authority.

The 33-year-old journalist has been booked four times since February and has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, twice in 37 days. Shah was initially arrested on February 4 by the Pulwama police under the anti-terror law and sedition charges. However, he was granted bail 22 days later by a special court. Shortly after this, he was arrested again, this time in Shopian, in relation to a case filed by the Indian Army in January 2021 against two news portals, including The Kashmir Walla, for reporting that a local army unit forced an Islamic seminary school in Shopian to hold Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

Recently, on March 5, Shah was granted bail in this case. But, hours later, he was arrested again in relation to a new FIR registered by the Srinagar Police.

This third FIR was filed in relation to a story published by The Kashmir Walla about a May 2020 encounter in Srinagar, quoting family members of one of the deceased denying claims made by the police. He was once again booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

On March 11, Shah was remanded to police custody for five days and his bail hearing was scheduled for March 15. However, a day before this, the J&K Police invoked the Public Safety Act (PSA) against the journalist.

The Public Safety Act, 1978, of Jammu Kashmir is an administrative detention law under which an individual can be detained for up to two years without any trial or charge. The Act also allows for the arrest of an individual without a warrant or specific charges and often for an unspecified period.

Recently, on April 7, Shah filed a plea at the Jammu and Kashmir High Court challenging his detention under the PSA.


On Sunday, the SIA along with the Kashmir police teams began a raid at Shah’s residence at around 7.17 am and the office of The Kashmir Walla at around 8.20 am, as per a statement issued by The Kashmir Walla. The raid lasted for over three hours at both places.

According to the statement, the raid was conducted under a search warrant issued by the Additional Sessions Judge dated April 13.


During the raid at the publication’s office, the officials seized laptops that belong to two reporters, a Mac from the multimedia department, six hard drives and five CDs. They also checked the reporting dairies and phones of the two reporters, who were present at the office during the raid. During the raid at Shah’s residence, a laptop of another staffer at The Kashmir Walla, who was also present during the searches, a tablet device, and a voice recorder were seized.

According to the search warrant that was provided to both The Kashmir Walla and Shah’s family, the FIR against Shah has been filed under the sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (attempt to wage war against government), 124 (assaulting President or Governor with intent to restrain the exercise of any lawful power), 153-B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 13 (unlawful activities) and 18 (conspiracy) of the UAPA.

However, The Kashmir Walla mentioned that neither the publication nor Shah’s family is aware of any further details about this case.