Pune woman labelled 'suicide bomber' handed over to family, says Jammu and Kashmir police

Srinagar: A Pune woman labelled a suicide bomber by the Jammu and Kashmir police has been handed over to her family as there is no case against her, the police have said.

"Yes, we have handed her to her family," Director General of Police SP Vaid told PTI.

Sadiya Anwar Shaikh, who turned 18 in November 2017, had travelled to Kashmir from Pune and had been staying in Bijbehara as a paying guest.

File image of Jammu and Kashmir Police. AFP

File image of Jammu and Kashmir Police. AFP

The police, who claimed she wanted to join the Islamic State, detained her on 25 January from South Kashmir and subjected her to intense questioning during which they found nothing incriminating.

On sustained questioning, it was revealed that the woman, a school dropout, had been "brainwashed" online about the supposed suffering of the Kashmiri people at the hands of security forces and had "fallen prey to false propaganda" on social media, the police said.

The Jammu and Kashmir police had been informed by central security agencies that a Pune-based woman, who had been detained on various occasions by the Pune Anti-Terrorism Squad, had moved to the Valley and that surveillance needed to be mounted.

Subsequently, an alert was issued to all districts. It named her and claimed that she was a suicide bomber who was planning to disrupt a Republic Day function.

The note said there was a "strong input" that an 18-year-old non-Kashmiri woman could "cause a suicide bomb explosion" near or inside the Republic Day parade.

"All are directed to please ensure that frisking of ladies at the (venues) is done meticulously and with utmost caution so as to thwart the designs of ANEs (anti-national elements)," the note, circulated on 23 January, read.

Shaikh had been questioned by the ATS Pune in 2015, when it came to its notice that she had been "radicalised" after coming in contact with Islamic State supporters abroad.

She was planning to travel to Syria, the ATS had then claimed.

The woman, a Class XI student at a Pune college, was subsequently sent for a de-radicalisation programme by the ATS.

Updated Date: Feb 04, 2018 18:59 PM

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