Woman SPO arrested, terminated for ‘glorifying militancy’ in south Kashmir

The arrest comes after a purported video went viral on social media sites including Facebook in which a woman was seen accusing government forces of repeatedly harassing her family.


Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday said that it has disengaged a woman Special Police Officer (SPO) after arresting her for ‘glorifying militancy’ and obstructing government officials in the discharge of their duty in southern Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

In a statement to the media, the police said, “On 14 April 2021, after receiving specific input regarding the presence of militants in Karewa Mohallah of village Frisal, a search operation was launched there. During the course of the search, the search party was obstructed by a woman identified as Saima Akhter D/O Ghulam Nabi Rah R/O Frisal.”

“The woman resisted the search party and turned violent, and uttered statements glorifying violent actions of terrorism. She captured a video through her personal phone and forwarded it on social media platforms with the aim of disrupting the search,” the police statement said.

Police further said that they took cognizance of the matter and arrested the woman. She was subsequently terminated from her services, according to the police.

“Regarding the incident, Case with FIR No 19/2021 U/S 353 IPC, 13 UAP Act stands registered in Police Station Yaripora and investigation of the case is in progress,” the police statement read.

As per reports reaching here, the 30-year-old Saima is a lone daughter of her aged and ailing parents.

“She was posted as an SPO in Jammu & Kashmir Police and is the sole bread earner to her family. Her father is suffering from cancer,” a local resident, her neighbour, informed while wishing anonymity.

Hours after the woman SPO Saima Akhter’s arrest under Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act (UAPA), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President and former Chief Minister of the erstwhile State, Mehbooba Mufti termed the police action as “cruel”.

“Saima Akhter from Kulgam has been slapped with UAPA for raising legitimate questions about searching her home repeatedly without any reasons. Saima’s ailing mother understandably exacerbated her worries. When it comes to cruelty, even women aren’t spared in Naya Kashmir,” she tweeted.

It is pertinent to mention that just a day ago, a purported video went viral on social media sites including Facebook in which a woman was seen accusing government forces of repeatedly harassing them.

In the video, she could be seen shouting at the government forces, “Kashmir Hamara Hai (Kashmir is ours).”

The woman, in the video, even asked the forces to take out their shoes in order to enter their house for conducting search while alleging that they were not allowed to take ‘Sehri’ – meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims before fasting during Ramadan.

Interestingly, last year J&K Police had arrested the mother of a slain militant on June 19 from her home in Rampora village of the same Kulgam district, and booked under UAPA (under FIR number 30 of 2020) for allegedly motivating youth in Kulgam to join militancy.

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