Kashmiri journalist Asif Sultan granted bail in UAPA case

SRINAGAR: Prominent Kashmiri journalist Asif Sultan has been granted bail in a case filed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) by a court in Srinagar, Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

According to Kashmir Media Service, Sultan, who was arrested earlier this year after being released on orders from the High Court in a preventive detention case, received bail from Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Gandotra. The judge emphasized that the mere application of UAPA provisions does not automatically warrant the rejection of bail without considering other legal requirements.

While granting bail, the court imposed stringent conditions on Sultan, prohibiting him from using encrypted messaging apps or VPNs. Additionally, Sultan must seek court permission to purchase a new mobile handset or SIM card if required due to damage, loss, theft, or upgrade.

Sultan has been in custody since 2018, initially arrested in another UAPA case for which he was granted bail in 2022. However, he was subsequently detained under the draconian law, the Public Safety Act.

Upon his release from an Uttar Pradesh jail in India in February this year, Sultan was re-arrested in the current UAPA case. His counsel argued that his arrest was unjustified as he was not present at the incident’s location.

The court observed that the incident occurred over five years ago, providing ample time for investigation, and concluded that further detention would serve no purpose. Considering the nature of the allegations and Sultan’s 72-day custody in this case, the court granted bail subject to several conditions.


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