Press Trust of india

‘Bleeding Heart’ was to replace Hurriyat in Kashmir, claims NIA chargesheet

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Srinagar: After National Investigation Agency (NIA) cracked the whip of militancy funding, Pakistan had approved a proposal by Irfan Shafi Mir, who was arrested along with Deputy SP Davender Singh, to set up a new outfit called ‘Bleeding Heart’ as it had realised in 2018 that Hurriyat Conference, the separatist conglomerate created by ISI, won’t be able to deliver any more.

Mir, who has emerged as a ‘double agent’, made frequent visits to Pakistan during which he came in contact with ISI officials as well as top militant leadership that had complained that separatist groups in the Kashmir Valley had become defunct after the NIA cracked its whip on their anti-national activities in 2017 following registering of a “terror funding” case.

During a visit to Pakistan in 2018, Mir held an extensive discussion with ISI officials as well as militant top brass to set up a non-governmental organisation (NGO) by the name ‘Bleeding Heart’ which would replace the role of Hurriyat Conference, says the NIA chargesheet filed in a designated court of Jammu.

Mir was arrested along with Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Singh and Hizbul Mujahideen militant Syed Naveed Mushtaq alias Naveed Babu and accomplice Rafi Ahmad Rather.

According to PTI, the details of the 3,064-page chargesheet accessed by it, show that Mir alias ‘Advocate’ made this proposal of the NGO and had started working for it after receiving a go ahead from “his mentors across the border”.

The NIA filed the chargesheet under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code against Mir, Singh, Naveed, his brother Syed Irfan Ahmad, Rather and businessman Tanveer Ahmad Wani, former president of the Line of Control Traders Association.

According to the National Investigation Agency, the accused were part of a “deep-rooted conspiracy hatched by the Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen and Pakistani State agencies to commit violent acts and to wage war against the Union of India”.

During his extensive questioning, the NIA said Mir had met Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salauddin, his deputy Amir Khan, the so-called operational chief Khursheed Alam and the militant group’s financial head Nazar Mehmood where the broad concept of ‘Bleeding Heart’ was discussed.

“Later during his stay in Pakistan, Mir had a meeting with ISI officers like Umar Cheema, Ahshan Chaudhary and Sohail Abbas who also tasked him to work on a new ‘Hawala (non-banking) channel’ for transfer of money” for sustaining militant activities in the Kashmir Valley.

The investigation into the case led by Inspector General Anil Shukla and his team has listed 3,017 oral and documentary evidences along with the chargesheet.

The chargesheet also gives instances of his connection with officials of Pakistan High Commission in India with whom he was in constant touch and “also received monetary assistance”.

Visa applications from Kashmir recommended by Mir were also given top most priority at the Pakistan High Commission, the chargesheet said.

Mir was sitting in the car driven by Singh on January 11 this year along with Naveed and Rather when their car was intercepted by Jammu and Kashmir Police near Qazigund on the national highway connecting the Valley with Jammu.

A search of the vehicle led to the recovery of an AK-47 rifle, three pistols and a cache of ammunition and explosives. The NIA took over the case on January 17 this year.

Pakistan’s ISI and militant groups were rattled by the case of May 2017 registered by the NIA against members of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and other separatist groups and leaders in the state for allegedly raising, receiving and collecting funds to fuel separatist and militant activities, conspiracy to cause disruption in the Valley, and waging war against India.

After thorough investigation into the case, the NIA arrested many people including influential businessman Zahoor Ahemd Watali and prominent politician Sheikh Abdul Rashid alias ‘Rashid Engineer’.

Two chargesheets were filed in the case which also included Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Altaf Fantoosh, the son-in-law of separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani; spokesman of moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Shahid-ul-Islam; spokesman of the Geelani-led faction of Hurriyat Ayaz Akbar; and separatists Nayeem Khan, Bashir Bhat alias Peer Saifullah and Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal.

The NIA has also recorded confessional statements on the flow of money, especially from Pakistan, from four people accused in a case related to the funding of “terror activities” in Kashmir. The case led to a decrease in stone pelting incidents in the Valley.

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