A Pune-based woman dubbed as a suspected suicide bomber by sections of the Indian media was detained by Jammu and Kashmir police due to the “misinterpretation of an intelligence input,” news agency PTI reported on Saturday.
The woman identified as Sadiya Anwar Shaikh had come from Pune and was staying in Bijbehara as a paying guest and planning to join the ISIS, the police had claimed, adding she had been arrested following intelligence inputs that a female suicide bomber was going to blow herself up in Kashmir on the occasion of India’s Republic Day.
However, during her extensive questioning, the school dropout turned out to be “having radical thoughts who had fallen prey to false propaganda on social networking site about alleged suffering of the Kashmiri people at the hands of security forces,” PTI quoted officials as saying.
The state police has gottten in touch with her mother and aunt and she will be handed over to them as there is no case pending against the detained woman either in the Valley or Maharashtra, the officials said.
“It was a case of misinterpreting an intelligence input by the Jammu and Kashmir police who were informed by central security agencies that a Pune-based woman, who was detained on various occasions by the ATS Pune, had shifted her base to the Valley and that surveillance needs to be mounted,” according to PTI.
However, Additional Director General of Police Munir Khan, who is functioning as Inspector General of Police Kashmir range, issued an alert to all districts naming her and claiming she was a suicide-bomber planning to disrupt the Republic Day function.
The note signed by Khan said that “there is a strong input” that an 18-year-old non-Kashmiri woman might “cause a suicide bomb explosion” near or inside the Republic Day parade in Kashmir.
“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 January 23, read.
Today, after understanding the gravity of the faux pas, Khan refused to give any details and said, “We will be talking to her and we will be talking to our sister agencies. We will be covering every other lead to know what the facts are. After doing proper investigation, we will come to any conclusion.”
Shaikh had been questioned by the Pune Anti-Terrorism Squad in 2015, when it came to notice that she had been radicalised after coming in contact with ISIS supporters abroad.
She was planning to travel to Syria, the ATS had then claimed. The woman, a Class 11 student at a Pune college, was subsequently sent for a de-radicalisation programme by the ATS.
Meanwhile, the woman’s mother refuted all the charges levelled against her daughter and said she will not believe the claims of security agencies until she talks to her.