Kashmir Indepth

Student leader Shehla Rashid likely to join Shah Faesal’s Party, to contest election from Srinagar

SRINAGAR, MAR 13 :Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader Shehla Rashid Shora, is set to join active politics as a member of fellow Kashmiri and former IAS officer Shah Faesal’s soon.

According to sources, “Shehla Rashid Shora is going to join Shah Faesal, who is launching a new political party”.

Sources added that she may contest elections from Srinagar city.

Shehla Rashid Shora was born in the old city of Srinagar in the Habba Kadal locality. Shehla is one of the few Kashmiri women who are vocal about the human rights situation in Kashmir, particularly for ensuring justice to minor under-trains and has been active since 2010 when she was part of organizing a youth leadership programme in Kashmir.

Shora unsuccessfully contested the election for the Gender Sensitisation Committee against Sexual Harassment in 2014. In September 2015, she contested the election for vice-present of the JNU student union, as the nominee of the Left-backed All India Students Association, and won it, beating the ABVP’s candidate Valentina Brahma by over 200 votes. She was the first Kashmiri girl to win a student union election at the JNU and the highest polled candidate of that year.

Shehla Rashid Shora is a Ph.D. student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and was vice-president of the students union (JNUSU) in 2015-16. She was a member of the All India Students Association (AISA).

Shora came into the limelight whilst leading the student agitation calling for the release of Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and others who were arrested on charges of sedition in February 2016.She is vocal about the human rights situation in Kashmir, particularly for ensuring justice to minor undertrials and has been active since 2010 when she was part of organising a youth leadership programme in Kashmir.

She played a leading role in visualising the ‘Occupy UGC movement’ and pioneering the decision to “camp” at UGC for fellowships. She led the protests to Ministry of Human Resources Development to ask for an increase in graduate student stipends.

Shora studied computer engineering at the National Institute of Technology, Srinagar and participated in a ten-week certificate programme in political leadership at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.

After graduating from NIT Srinagar she worked as a software engineer with HCL Technologies. She raised the issues of juvenile justice and acid attacks on women in Kashmir but “the political space there [was] too restricted.” Eventually, she joined the Jawaharlal Nehru University, completing an M.A. in sociology and then studying for an MPhil in Law and Governance. She is currently pursuing her PhD thesis from JNU which is based on “how algorithm based decision-making affects policy making”. (PTK)

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