Govt to submit report on Faiís links to MHA in one month

Govt to submit report on Faiís links to MHA in one month

12 April 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: The Special Investigating Team (SIT), constituted by the State Government to probe the links of Kashmiri separatist Sayyid Ghulam Nabi alias Fai in Jammu and Kashmir and outside the State and hawala funding made by him to terror outfits, separatists, NGOs, journalists, intellectuals and other organisations, has been asked to complete its findings and recommendations within one month period. The SIT has been directed to expedite its probe in the aftermath of a directive from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that all facts and figures pertaining to Fai and his agents should be made available to it at the earliest. The directive had been issued at a high level security review meeting chaired by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram here on April 10 and attended by top brass of civil and police administration, Central Police Forces and Intelligence agencies among others. Official sources told the Excelsior that SIT headed by SSP Badgam Uttam Chand has been asked to expedite its findings and complete them in a month's time. The Government would submit findings pertaining to the Central Government to the MHA and act on the issues, which have to be tackled by the State, sources said, adding the Home Minister had also sought facts and figures on all activities of Fai since seventies onwards and the persons, who had benefited of his hawala transactions including separatists, terror outfits, journalists, NGOs etc. Fai was recently sentenced to two months imprisonment by a Virginia court in the United States. Sources said the findings and recommendations of the SIT, which pertained to the Central Government, would be submitted to the MHA as soon as they were received while the points on which the State Government and Police Department had to act on its own would be pursued to logical conclusion. To expedite investigations in the activities of Fai, both within the State and outside, the Government had appointed two more officers to Uttam Chand headed SIT. They included Junaid Mehmood, SP CID (Counter Intelligence), Kashmir and Chief Prosecuting Officer (CPO), Srinagar. Sources said even as investigations by the SIT were in progress, Police Department had established that 116 major hawala transactions have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir, some of which had direct or indirect hand of Fai. The hawala transactions would run into several crores. While some of hawala transactions had been made through businessmen, few others were conducted through banking and other available channels. 'A number of persons had benefited of hawala transactions in Jammu and Kashmir including Kashmiri separatists, commanders of militant outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen, journalists, NGOs and other organisations. The SIT would work out details of hawala money that had flown through into the State over a period of time and names of its beneficiaries, both militants and their over ground supporters', sources said. It may be mentioned that based on the report of the SIT pertaining to activities of Fai, there was a possibility that the Central Government could issue a red corner notice against the Kashmiri separatist to ensure his repatriation to India once he completed two years sentence awarded to him by the Virginia court. As reported, in connection with participants from India to the 11th annual conference of KAC, a national newspaper quoting from the footnotes of Attorney's report had said, 'Mirwaiz Umer Farooq was supported and controlled by the ISI. Fai invited Attiya Inayatullah to KAC conferences at the ISI's direction. Gautam Navlakha was introduced to an ISI General for recruitment by Fai at the ISI's behest'. Prominent among those who wrote a letter in support of Fai to the US District Judge seeking leniency were Rajmohan Gandhi, Ved Bhasin, Karen Parker, Zaffer A Shah, Zahid G Muhammad and Hamida Bano. According to an overview of the KAC conference sent to the media after the 2009 event by Fai, Ved Bhasin was quoted as advocating for Kashmir as an independent state in South Asia. 'The only solution is an independent state in South Asia. The status quo is not a solution, the division of the State is not a solution,' reported Kashmir Images of 22 July, 2011 quoting Ved Bhasin. Prof. Hamida Bano was among Fai's beneficiaries but inclusion of Jatinder Bakhshi, rather a non-descript Kashmir Pandit migrant entity remained a mystery. The Telegraph of 21 July reported that several Indian journalists and activists had also accepted the invitation from the group to take part in seminars in the US, which involved business class travel and 'some luxury'. Sources said journalists such as Kuldip Nayar, Dileep Padgaonkar, Harinder Baweja, Ved Bhasin, Rajmohan Gandhi and activists Rita Manchanda and Gautam Navlakha and politician Subramanian Swamy had attended some of these seminars. Bharat Bhushan, who writes on India-Pakistan relations and is a former journalist with The Telegraph, declined to deny or confirm if he participated in any event organized by the group. Siddharth Varadarajan, National Bureau Chief of The Hindu, said Fai invited him to attend a seminar in 2009. 'But I declined,' Varadarajan said. What aroused Varadarajan's suspicion was Fai having listed India's envoy to Washington Meera Shankar as one of the speakers at the event. 'I checked with my sources on how come she was attending? They told me she wasn't,' Varadarajan said.