LeT militant reveals outfit’s links with Hurriyat leader
6 February 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: The State Intelligence agencies have come across a very ‘conclusive evidence’ linking a top leader of All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) with a hardcore militant of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit. The Lashkar militant, who was presently in the judicial lock-up alongwith a Government official (a Forester) and two other ultras of Farooq Rehmani’s People’s League outfit, has made ‘very important’ and ‘sensational’ disclosures during his interrogation by the Intelligence agencies. The disclosures were ‘sufficient’ to link the pro-Pakistan and fundamentalist Hurriyat leader with the LeT, official sources in the Intelligence agencies told EXCELSIOR. They identified the arrested militant as Farooq Ahmed, who hailed from Bandipore village of Baramulla district and the Forester as Haji Ghulam Ahmed, also a resident of Bandipore and posted in Srinagar at the time of his arrest. Presently, the Forester was under suspension and facing trial in the judicial lock-up. Two other militants, arrested by the Intelligence agencies, were Ayub Ahmed of Bandipore and Habibullah of Srinagar. Habibullah was an old man and his role was confined to providing overground assistance to the militants. While Farooq Ahmed and Haji Ghulam Ahmed were affiliated with Lashkar- e-Toiba outfit, Ayub and Habibullah had links with People’s League supremo Farooq Rehmani, who was presently operating from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). Sources said Farooq Ahmed was arrested by a special team of the Intelligence agencies from near the Jammu Airport sometime back when he was about to board an Indian Airlines flight for New Delhi to get the connecting flight to Islamabad. Farooq was in possession of a valid passport and Pakistani visa despite the fact that he was a hardcore Lashkar cadre and had participated in several actions against the army in Srinagar and Baramulla districts of the Kashmir valley. Farooq Ahmed, arrested on a specific tip off, was subjected to sustained interrogation, where he confessed his links with the APHC leader. Infact, Farooq had been issued the visa by Pakistani embassy on the recommendations of the Hurriyat leader while the passport in his possession had been managed by the Forester. Sources said the Lashkar leadership of the Kashmir valley wanted to depute Farooq Ahmed to Pakistan on an ‘important mission’. Since he had injured his leg in one of the operations against the security forces in Baramulla, he was unable to cross over to Pakistan through the Line of Control (LoC). The LeT leadership utilised the services of its over-ground worker in the Forest Department Haji Ghulam Ahmed in procuring a passport for Farooq Ahmed. The Forester with the help of Ayub Ahmed stole the passport of one Nazir Ahmed, also a resident of Bandipore, who had died few days back, the sources said. The duo then proceeded to Bangalore where they tampered the passport with the help of a sophisticated electronic equipment by replacing Nazir Ahmed’s photograph with that of Farooq Ahmed. And for securing visa, the outfit took the services of Hurriyat leader, they said. This particular Hurriyat leader, whose chit is taken as an order in Pakistan’s embassy, obliged Farooq Ahmed despite knowing well that he was a hardcore militant of LeT outfit having his involvement in a series of subversive activities including the killings and action against the security personnel across Kashmir valley. The Hurriyat leader also knew that the passport in the possession of Farooq was tampered. He was also aware of the fact that Farooq Ahmed had been to Pakistan thrice (breaching the LoC) for training and bringing the consignments of sophisticated weaponry to the Valley. The chit helped and Farooq Ahmed was given visa by Pakistan’s embassy in no time. According to sources, the Intelligence agencies succeeded in getting an ‘advance information’ of Farooq Ahmed’s visit to Pakistan and laid a trap for him. Farooq was apprehended and the tampered passport and Pakistani visa besides some other ‘important documents’ were recovered from his possession. Subsequently, the interrogation of Farooq Ahmed led to the arrest of Forester Haji Ghulam Ahmed and two other militants Habibullah and Ayub Ahmed, the sources said, adding all of them have been sent to the judicial lock-up and a challan presented against them in the Session Court. The sources said Farooq Ahmed also made ‘very important’ disclosures regarding the Hurriyat Conference leader’s links with the LeT outfit but declined to share them. Asked why the Hurriyat leader was not arrested when there was an evidence to link him with the militant outfit, the sources gave no answer.