New Delhi: After stoking controversy with her comments on the ground situation of Jammu and Kashmir, political activist Shehla Rashid on Thursday defended herself and stated she will submit evidence to substantiate her claims once Army conducts an inquiry.
The Army has accused Rashid of spreading fake news after her claims about alleged human rights abuses in the region.
Seeking a fair and impartial probe by the Army into allegations levelled against her, she said: "What I said is based on authentic conservations with Kashmiri people, who have absolutely no reason to lie. Because the world's largest Army has reacted to my statement let the Army conduct an enquiry into the incidents that I have mentioned."
"I will depose before the Army. I will give them particulars of the incidents where this has happened and let them initiate an enquiry. And if people are found guilty and what I am saying is found to be true then Indian Army should give us an assurance that people will actually be punished," she added.
Surrounded by media persons asking the political activist to justify her remarks made in a series of tweets, she said, "Why shall I not tweet?..... Has Modi government banned tweeting or is there a ban on tweeting by Kashmiris?"
The remarks came after Rashid shared stage with Congress and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leaders, who are protesting against the detention pf political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, at Jantar Mantar. The protest was organised by DMK-led All-Party Demonstration, demanding the release of political leaders detained in the region.
Earlier, in a series of tweets on August 18, Rashid had accused the paramilitary forces deputed in Kashmir of ransacking and torturing people by entering their houses.
"Armed forces are entering house at night, picking up boys, ransacking houses, deliberately spilling rations on the floor, mixing oil with rice, etc", she had tweeted.
"In Shopian, 4 men were called into the Army camp and "interrogated" (tortured). A mic was kept close to them so that the entire area could hear them scream, and be terrorized. This created an environment of fear in the entire area," she had said in another tweeted.
The Army had rejected her allegations, saying, "Allegations levelled by Shehla Rashid are baseless and rejected. Such unverified and fake news are spread by inimical elements and organisations to incite unsuspecting population".
A criminal complaint has been filed against Rashid by Supreme Court lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava for deliberately and intentionally spreading fake news with the intention to incite violence in Jammu and Kashmir and in other parts of the country.
The complainant had said that her tweets, which were intensively shared on Twitter and other international platforms, caused irreparable injury to the reputation of India.
He had alleged that Rashid intended to excite disaffection towards the government, which is prima facie an offence of sedition under Section 124-A of IPC.