June 16, 2021
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Political Twist To Activist Shehla Rashid’s Family Saga

BJP sides with father, Shah Faesal stays neutral

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Political Twist To Activist Shehla Rashid’s Family Saga
Political activist Shehla Rashid and Shah Faesal
Umer Asif
Political Twist To Activist Shehla Rashid’s Family Saga

The BJP has turned a family dispute between activist Shehla Rashid Shora and her father Abdul Rashid Shora into a political issue in Jammu and Kashmir and beyond.

Even former bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal, the 2010 IAS topper, who launched Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement in March 2019, but had renounced politics, tweeted that he has nothing to do with the dispute and is ready for an investigation from any agency.

The issue surfaced on Monday night when Shehla father, Abdul Rashid, gave an interview to local channels saying that he has written to the director-general of police Dilbag Singh, asking him to probe into the “anti-national activities” of his daughter.

Rashid claimed he is facing threat to his life from his daughter Shehla Rashid Shora, supported by the elder daughter Asma Rashid and wife Zubaida Shora.

He claimed that trouble began in 2017 when he heard that Shehla has joined Kashmir politics. “I talked to her many times and told her that she should have joined national mainstream politics. She couldn’t satisfactorily answer me,” he said.

“In those very days I got a call in June 2017 by a person known to me to meet former MLA Engineer Rasheed and Zahoor Watali," he said. Both Watali and Engineer Rasheed are in Tihar.

"They (Watali and Engineer Rasheed) told me they have given a forum to Shah Faesal and Shehla to take Kashmir politics further,” Shehla's father said. He said later Shah Faesal and Shehla came up with Jammu Kashmir Peoples Movement in March 2019, which had an alliance with Engineer Rashid’s party. Rashid claimed the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement was conceived in the United States of America when Shah Faesal was in Harvard University. “Even Shehla was in the US those days. They wanted to create another version of Hurriyat Conference through Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement and instigate the youth,” he added. He also claimed Zahoor Watali and Engineer Rashid offered him Rs 3 crore for Shehla.

However, Shehla dismissed his father’s allegations, tweeting, “Many of you must have come across a video of my biological father making wild allegations against me and my mum & sis. To keep it short and straight, he’s a wife-beater and an abusive, depraved man. We finally decided to act against him, and this stunt is a reaction to that.”

Shehla said it was not a political matter as it has been going on ever since she came to her senses. She also tweeted a letter to him from the Mohalla committee in 2005 asking him not to abuse them.

“He had never, in his wildest dreams, imagined that his obedient wife and timid daughters would ever speak up against him. Since he was restrained from entering the home by the Hon’ble Court, he’s trying to derail the judicial process by resorting to cheap stunts,” Shehla said.

She said one may talk endlessly about justice, but charity really does begin at home. "We have finally decided to not bear abuse silently, as silence only emboldens abusers. Here’s the court order restraining him from entering the home dated 17-11-2020. Anything he says is an afterthought,” she added.

Abdul Rashid confessed that he had been barred by the court from entering his house. He said on the orders from the court, he was allowed to visit his home but the SHO concerned didn’t help him.

However, J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina described the whole issue as a big conspiracy between Hurriyat Conference, separatists, Pakistan, Shehla Rashid and "tukdey tukdey gang." He said these people have taken money from Pakistan to open “shops of death and destruction” in Jammu and Kashmir.

BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh took the issue further. He said there was an "ilu ilu" game going on between the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration and the "tukde tukde gang" and both are being funded by the militants across the border in Pakistan.

Addressing an election meeting in Kishtwar on Tuesday, Chugh said terror funding was no more a secret now after Abdul Rashid Shora stated that her daughter had received “Rs 3 crore from her mentors in Pakistan to join students' politics in the JNU”.

Rashid, he said, had already sought a probe into his daughter’s finances, accusing her of receiving Rs 3 crore from two people under investigation for terror funding.

Ifra Jan, a columnist and activist tweeted that, “Expect the BJP supporters to lap up to this wife-beater. Double whammy for them. Ek to beats up his family, and second dishes out anti National conspiracy theories. What else do they need?!”

Meanwhile, Shah Faesal, the 2010 IAS topper, who launched Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement in March 2019, washed his hands of the controversy. Faesal, who has renounced politics after he was released from jail, tweeted that his name should not be dragged in the family dispute.

“As far as my name has been dragged into the family dispute of a former colleague, I want to make it clear that I have neither met nor consulted any of the terror accused persons, directly or indirectly, not to speak of seeking their support or benefitting from them,” he said.

“While I know the perils of public life, I feel extremely sad to see my name being dragged into something with which I am not even remotely associated. I will be glad to go before @JKP NIA CBI ED and assist in the investigation if required,” he added.

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