NEW DELHI: Ten months after mass protests and stone pelting on security forces began in Kashmir valley following the encounter of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani, the National Investigation Agency has started a probe against hardline separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Naeem Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar (Chairman of JKLF), Gazi Javed Baba (leader of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat) and others for allegedly receiving funds from Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed, other Pakistan-based terror outfits and Pakistani agencies (hinting at ISI) and other “subversive activities”.
Naming all of them in its preliminary enquiry, NIA has said funds were allegedly received by Hurriyat leaders for carrying stone pelting, burning schools and other government buildings, attacking security forces and damaging public property.
The government has already been keeping an eye on separatists for superimposing militancy over “civil resistance” in Jammu and Kashmir by radicalising youngsters with the help of Pakistan.
In its annual report for 2016-17, MHA, while talking about security situation in J&K, has stated that 2016 has seen a change in Pak tactics following strategy of superimposition of militancy over “civil resistance” through radicalisation by vested interest groups and social media.
MHA says that after Burhan Wani was neutralised on July 8, last year, “Hurriyat leaders were involved in fomenting the trouble in the shape of organizing protests and forcing the shopkeepers to shut their shops through their dictates of protest calendars.”
MHA says that since the advent of militancy in J&K (in 1990), 13,936 civilians and 5,043 security forces personnel have lost their lives there.
Defence minister Arun Jaitley also said on Friday that the fact that Hurriyat leaders were taking money from Pakistan was already known in “informed circles”, and called it a conspiracy against not just India but also the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
After registering a PE, an NIA team has already reached valley to begin its investigation and question Geelani and other Hurriyat leaders. The agency has also taken cognizance of a TV sting operation where some separatist leaders are taking about funding from across the border. Some of them can be heard bragging about how funds are routed including Dubai route or hawala to them in the sting operation.
Sources said that they will check the bank accounts of suspects, use of dummy companies for transfers from Pakistan or via a third country, hawala operators to ascertain the exact amount received from Hafiz Saeed and Pakistani agencies. Officials added that only when they get strong evidence on funding from Pakistan, they will turn the PE into a regular case.
Intelligence officials say that the amount received by separatists to keep active the turmoil in Kashmir from Pakistan in last one year could be in several hundred crores.
According to senior officials at the North Block, the funding from Pakistan, which is directly monitored by Pak’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), comes via gulf countries, Saudi Arabia and other places before it reaches to places like Anantnag, Pulwama, Kupwara and Srinagar etc.
The separatist leaders, who had recently called for boycotting elections in the Valley and have disrupted normal life for almost a year now, distribute the funds received from Pakistan to the stone-pelters for attacking security forces.
Officials say that these stone-pelters, who don’t have any other sources of income, are paid Rs 500 to Rs 1000 every day for disrupting law and order arrangements or operations carried out by security forces against the terrorists or wave Pakistani flags.
According to an estimate by Intelligence Bureau, there are around 250 terrorists active in Jammu and Kashmir presently, most of them local boys. A large number of them have joined Hizbul Mujahideen in past 10 months.
Year-wise data on J&K violence
Since the advent of militancy in J&K, 13,936 civilians and 5053 security personnel have been killed till December 31, 2016.
, the year Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani was killed, 150 terrorists were killed, 82 security personnel martyred, 15 civilians killed in 322 total incidents.
, 108 terrorists, 17 civilians, 39 security personnel killed in 208 incidents.
, 110 terrorists, 28 civilians, 39 security personnel killed in 222 incidents.
, 67 terrorists, 15 civilians and 53 security personnel killed in 170 incidents.
, there were 364 infiltration attempts from across the border while 112 terrorists managed to successfully enter India.