Pune teenager claims she was labelled a 'suicide bomber'

Published: 06 February, 2018 22:21 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh | Pune

Sadiya Shaikh says she was in the Valley to pursue higher studies, but was labelled a 'suicide bomber'

Pune teenager claims she was labelled a 'suicide bomber'

Sadiya at the press conference

Pune: Yerawada resident, Sadiya Anvar Shaikh, 18, had been under the police radar since she was 16, when the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) claimed she had links with ISIS supporters in Syria.

But, addressing the media in her hometown, following her alleged 'detention' in Jammu and Kashmir on January 25, the teenager said she was in the northern state to pursue higher studies and she was shocked to find her name flashing on television as a “suicide bomber."

Addressing the media in the presence of her mother, Safiya, and lawyer Ramesh Rakshe, Sadiya said, "I am a proud Indian and I want to serve my country as an IAS officer. The security forces had tarnished my reputation in 2015 due to which I face humiliation till date. I chose to pursue higher studies in Kashmir because I thought I would be able to manage a fresh start if I am far away from my hometown. On January 18, my mother dropped me in the Valley so that I could seek admission at SPT Paramedical and Nursing Institute in Pulwama. I wanted to study nursing before appearing for civil service examinations. But, on January 25, I saw my naming flashing on TV as a suicide bomber. I voluntarily went to the cops and I urged them to stop spreading such false news. They never detained me."

Ahead of Republic Day, the J&K police had claimed that a 'non-Kashmiri youth' had entered the state to carry out terror attacks on January 26. Subsequently, an alert naming Shaikh was issued in all J&K districts stating that she was a suicide bomber.

Sadiya came under the ATS radar in 2015 when officers of the Special Branch in Pune claimed that she had been radicalised. Following a raid at her residence, Sadiya was also interrogated by National Investigation Agency (NIA) deputy supe­ri­ntendent Premveer Singh.

Safiya said, "The manner in which her name has been flashed as a suicide bomber, I am worried about her future. Then, there were false rumours about her alleged affair with a Kashmiri youth. I am thankful to the cops for giving us the clean chit, but our future looks grim."

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