Is terror hiding behind the honest call for freedom?

National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested seven separatist leaders, including Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law, Altaf Shah, on charges of “terror-funding”. {The others arrested are- Geelani’s close aides Tehreek-e-Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar and Peer Saifullah, Mehraj Kalwal, Shahid-ul-Islam(spokesman of the moderate Hurriyat Conference), Naeem Khan and Bitta Karate.}

A case was registered on May 30, 2017, against these separatist and secessionist leaders including members of the Hurriyat Conference who have been involved with active militants of banned organizations Hizbul Mujahideen, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-e-Toiba and other associations and gangs for raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including hawala channels, for funding anti-state activities in the Valley.

NIA raided their homes and recovered account books, Rs. 2 crore in cash and letterheads of banned terror groups (Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen). The agency’s investigation seeks to identify all the players who finance terrorist activities apart from those who have pelted stones at security forces, burnt down schools and damaged government establishments.

Burhan Wani

It is been said that Altaf Shah or Altaf Fantush is an influential force in the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. Ayaz Akbar is known for issuing bandh calls as well as threats to people in the Valley while Kalwal, a former Hizbul Mujahideen militant, has been accused of organising stone-peltings and processions at Geelani’s instance.

The turmoil in Kashmir, which started after Burhan Wani’s death last year, doesn’t seem to come to an end. There have been many clashes and arrests since then, but this is the first time since the rise of militancy in Kashmir in the early 1990s that a central agency has linked “terror funding” directly to the top Hurriyat leadership.

We at Voice of Ram, like most Indians, hope that Kashmir issue will be solved sans violence. May peace prevail in Kashmir.

Voice Of Ram is the personal blog of Ram Subramanian. Click on the red bell icon to get updated on his posts. You can follow his views on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.