J&K to prosecute nine men for raising ISIS flag

The nine accused in the case were charged under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for hoisting the flag
ISIS Flag in Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday sanctioned for prosecution of nine people, who have been charged for raising an Islamic state flag in Srinagar two years ago.

The nine accused in the case were charged under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for hoisting the flag on October 17, 2014, according a report in The Indian Express.

“The government is of the view that there is sufficient material and evidence available against the accused persons for their prosecution,” states a notification issued by the state’s Principal Secretary (Home), R K Goyal.

On October 17, 2014, a few unidentified youths had raised the black flag of the IS at Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid after the Friday prayers. The police registered a case and said that their investigations revealed that nine Srinagar residents were involved in the incident.

The youths were booked under UAPA Section 13 (punishment for taking part in or committing, advocating, abetting, inciting or assisting in any unlawful activity), which makes state government’s sanction mandatory for prosecution.

While the state Home Secretary until recently issued such sanctions, under new rules the power lies with the Chief Minister, the report said.

Stating that the police have established a prima facie case against the accused, the gazette notification states, “The appointed authority by the state government has independently scrutinised the case diary and documents relevant to the case and has come to a conclusion that this is a fit case for accord of prosecution sanction against the accused persons.”

The nine people to be prosecuted are not “motivated” by IS ideology, and had raised the flags only to “hurt” the Central government and “garner international attention” towards Kashmir, police said according to the report.

While the IS has no presence in the Valley, a Srinagar youth, who was working in Australia, had reportedly joined the terror outfit in Syria two years ago. In the last two years, IS flags have been raised on several occasions in different areas, most such incidents coming after Friday prayers.