A Delhi court on Monday ordered framing of charges against chief of Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DEM) Aasiya Andrabi and her two associates for allegedly waging war against India, sedition and conspiracy to commit acts of militancy in the country.
Special Judge Parveen Singh ordered putting Andrabi and her associates — Sofi Fehmeeda and Nahida Nasreen — on trial for various offences punishable under IPC and stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The three accused were arrested in April 2018 in the present case and are imprisoned since.
The court on Monday ordered the framing of charges under IPC Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging war against the Government of India), 121-A (conspiracy to wage war against Government of India), 124-A (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups), 153-B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief).
It further directed framing charges under UAPA sections 18 (conspires or attempts to commit, or advocates, abets, advises or incites terror act), 20 (being member of terrorist gang or organisation), 38 (offence relating to membership of a terrorist organisation) and 39 (offence relating to support given to a terrorist organisation).
The charges are scheduled to be formally framed on January 18.
Andrabi was accused of being involved in conspiracy and acts to “severely destabilize the sovereignty and integrity of India”, along with the two women associates.”
The NIA had said that the accused were found involved in “the conspiracy and acts to severely destabilize the sovereignty and integrity of India.”
The NIA, on directions of the Union Home Ministry, registered a case against them as well as their organisation.
According to the FIR, Andrabi, Fehmeeda and Nasreen were actively running the organization, ‘Dukhtaran-E-Millat’ (DEM), which is proscribed under the First Schedule to the UAPA.
Andrabi is the founder of DeM which has been banned for allegedly mobilizing women against Indian rule in Kashmir.
Holder of master’s degree in Arabic literature, and bachelors in biochemistry, Andrabi shot to prominence in the late 1980s when she launched a campaign against social evils under the banner of DEM.
She was arrested in 1993 for the first time and since then faced many detentions. Last time, she was taken into custody in October 2016. Though she was released a few months later but was kept under house arrest, only to be arrested again and shifted to Amphala Jail Jammu in 2017.
In July 2018, she was shifted to Tihar Jail.
In July this year, Andrabi’s son had alleged that she had been shifted to the punishment or penitentiary ward of the jail, where prisoners face a strict schedule, including forced physical labour.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, he said that two accomplices of his mother, Nahida and Fehmeeda were also shifted to the same punishment ward.
“My mother is hypertensive, asthmatic, and has arthralgias. Shifting her to a place, where conditions are appalling, and the schedule is very stringent, is tantamount to playing with her health, and life, ” said Ahmed, whose father is also undergoing a jail sentence since 1993.
“I saw my mother weeks before she was shifted to Tihar Jail from Srinagar. Her health was not good even at that time. Unhygienic conditions, substandard food, and on top of all, continuous mental torture have already deteriorated her health,” Ahmed told.
With inputs from PTI and Anadolu Agency