Alam, “poster-boy” of stone-pelters, spills beans

18th June 2019

18th June 2019

Masarat Alam, "poster-boy" of stone-pelters

The nabbed Kashmiri separatist leader Masarat Alam, “poster-boy” of stone-pelters, has confessed to NIA (National Investigation Agency) during his custodial interrogation that Pakistan-based agents route funds through hawala operators, which are transferred to separatist leaders, including former chief of Hurriyat, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, to promote anti-India elements and incite violence in the Valley.  

In the FIR filed on May 30, Alam has apparently spilled the beans that Kashmiri separatists received funds from Jammat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen head Syed Salahuddin to foment trouble in the Valley. Besides these two, 13 people have been charge-sheeted by the agency including seven separatist leaders, two hawala conduits and some stone pelters.

Alam, who is general secretary of All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), led by Geelani, is an alumnus of Srinagar's Tyndale Biscoe missionary school. He is also chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Muslim League.

Alam was the brain behind the 2010 Kashmir stone-pelting rallies which broke out against the Indian army in 2010. He was instrumental in orchestrating attacks on security forces and playing "freedom" songs in mosques and issuing threats to security forces to leave Kashmir Valley. He has been detained numerous times by the Indian government.

The seven separatist leaders include Altaf Ahmad Shah, alias Shahid-ul-Islam who is the son-in-law of Geelani. The others are Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah.

Shahid-ul-Islam is Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front  (JKLF) head Farooq Dar’s aide and  Khandey is spokesperson for Geelani-led Hurriyat. Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali was arrested in August 2017 along with Dubai-based businessman Naval Kishore Kapoor, the two alleged Hawala operators.

Watali is one of the main suspects in the terror-funding probe. As per NIA,Watali used to generate and receive funds from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and from the UAE and had floated shell companies to disguise foreign remittances for fund transfers to separatist leaders and stone-throwers.

Besides Alam who was arrested in April this year, NIA also nabbed Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik and separatist leader Shabbir Shah recently. Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Asiya Andrabi was arrested last year.

 Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief, the perpetual Niqab-veiled Asiya Andrabi, who tries to project herself as a woman face of separatism, confessed during questioning that she had been collecting funds and donations from foreign sources which included remittances for funding education of her son Mohammad Bin Qasim, studying in Malaysia. She revealed that Watali arranged the funds for son’s education and for the women’s ‘movement’ in the valley.  

As per reports, Yasin Malik has revealed that he was instrumental in unifying disparate factions of the Hurriyat Conference and also that he formed the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) which spearheaded violent agitations across the Valley in 2016 by issuing “Protest Calendars”.  Protest Calendars is a term coined by these separatists for the periods where there are total economic shutdown and violent protests and disruption of daily life of common citizens in Kashmir Valley was caused.

Shabir Shah, when confronted with evidence relating to transfer of money by Pakistan-based agents and representatives of a few Hurriyat factions; and his benami properties in Pahalgam, Srinagar, Anantnag and Jammu, confessed of the money trail from Pakistani agents to the coffers of Hurriyat. “He was also confronted with some of his personal staff and associates who have provided vital information regarding the sources of fund-raising and investment details,” the NIA statement said.

Masarat Alam has revealed that rift occurred among the separatist factions on collection and use of hawala funds.

Ironically, these are the same Hurriyat leaders who were engaged by governments in Centre and parties in the Valley before Narendra Modi’s ascent in 2014.

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