India

Kashmiri separatist Aasiya Andrabi lodged ini NIA lock-up

Aasiya Andrabi was accused of being a key motivator of students' protests in Kashmir valley following the death of Burhan Wani in 2016.

New Delhi: Kashmiri separatist Aasiya Andrabi was brought to the Delhi headquarters of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), and has been undergoing questioning, investigators said.

The 56-year-old chief of the banned Dukhtaran-E-Milat (daughters of the nation) has been lodged in the NIA lock-up. Every few hours, a new set of women interrogators arrive to quiz her on her association with Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed and why she always takes such hardline position against India, reads an NDTV report.

Aasiya Andrabi was accused of being a key motivator of students’ protests in Kashmir valley following the death of Burhan Wani in 2016, and was therefore arrested in April.

Investigators say Aasiya Andrabi openly affiliated with Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed for years, but she never had to face the law. “She addressed a rally of Hafiz Saeed on telephone. He calls her his sister,” an officer associated with the investigation said.

A scrutiny of Aasiya Andrabi’s Twitter handle reveals that many Lashkar operatives are her followers. “Some of them are active terrorists based in Kashmir Valley and some even in Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir,” an officer said, reports NDTV.

The NIA, he said, is translating her tweets, which are mostly written in Urdu. “She openly tweets anti-India sentiments,” an officer said.

The NIA dossier on her reads: “By their activities on cyberspace, they were running a concerted campaign to solicit support of Pakistani establishment which inter-alia includes arranging support from militant entities from Pakistan.”

Officers say Aasiya Andrabi has never been charged because of “patronage by the state”. “Though many a time, she was put under house arrest, she continues to enjoy enough freedom to join the anti-India terror elements in Pakistan openly,” an officer said.

Officials say this time, they have enough evidence to prove that she was instigating women students of various colleges to come out on streets and protest. “We have a set of women interrogators. We are talking to her since she has been remanded in our custody,” an officer said.

Cases registered against Aasiya Andrabi include hoisting the Pakistani flag every year to mark Pakistan Day and Independence Day of the country on August 14. According to NIA, the FIR in the case said Andrabi used various media platforms to spread insurrectionist ideas and hate speeches that endanger the integrity, security and sovereignty of India.

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