The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has recovered a detailed protest calendar issued and signed by Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani that reportedly highlights how separatists fuelled civil unrest and violence in Jammu and Kashmir in coordination with Pakistani handlers.
The investigating agency found documents that listed dates of when the protests and other events and activities to fuel unrest were to be carried out in Kashmir following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani in an encounter in July last year.
The calendar, which was recovered from Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Funtoosh, was intended to encourage radicalism and also established how the Hurriyat leaders fuelled violence resulting in several deaths and injuries in clashes between stone pelters and security forces.
The protests involved local clerics, separatist cadres and activists of the Opposition parties, Times of India reported. These protests and activities were funded by the Hurriyat in coordination with Pakistani handlers and agencies, the investigation carried out by the NIA indicated.
The activities to be carried out in August 2016, the period which saw the maximum number of protests and violence in the Kashmir Valley following Wani's death, were found marked on the 'protest calendar'. Sources in the NIA told TOI that the activities marked in the calendar showed that those fuelling unrest in Kashmir had a list of all employees in government departments.
On August 8 last year, protesters were instructed to block all roads towards and around the civil secretariat in Srinagar and tehsil offices. They were to make sure that employees do not join duty. Geelani 'directed' that "deputy commissioners have to desist from calling employees over phone and pressurising them to resume duty."
On August 9, the calendar called for a women's protest as well as the playing of azadi songs in masjids in the Valley. On August 11, a poster letter was to be issued asking pro-India politicians and their workers, including panchs and sarpanchs, to resign from their posts.
The NIA had arrested seven Kashmiri separatist leaders last week on charges of receiving funds from Pakistan to sponsor terror activities, protests and stone pelting in the Kashmir Valley. Summons were also issued to 30 other separatist leaders, including Geelani's son Naseem, over terror funding allegations.
The seven arrested were identified as Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah, Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah and Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal.
All of them were booked under sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The FIR filed by the NIA accused them of receiving money from Pakistan to fund violence and stone-pelting in the Valley. The NIA had also said that all seven of them would have to undergo a lie-detector test.
The Hurriyat, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed, Hizbul Mujahideen and Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) have also been named in the FIR for "for raising, receiving and collecting funds domestically and abroad through various illegal channels, including hawala to wage war against India."
Hurriyat to take legal action against NIA?
The Hurriyat Conference released a statement on Sunday saying that the leadership had decided to take legal action against the NIA and certain sections of the Indian media for "character assassination" of its leaders and family members.
The resistance leadership "never feels shy or is afraid of any accountability in public," the statement said adding that Geelani did not enter politics for material gains or for his livelihood, Kashmir Reader reported.
The police on Sunday barred journalists from attending a press conference by Geelani at his residence in Hyderpora in Jammu and Kashmir just 24 hours after they prevented Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq from talking to the media.
The statement by the Hurriyat Conference said that the press conference was called to respond to the allegations levelled against the separatist leaders by the NIA and the 'biased' Indian media.
"The press conference was called to aware the nation and the world about the reality of these allegations but the police and the state administration prevented the press conference and didn't allow the media to enter the residence of Syed Ali Geelani," the statement said.
The statement added that the Hurriyat leadership should also be given a chance to counter the "false and baseless" allegations of the NIA and the Indian media against them. It further added that the details of the properties prepared by the NIA were fraudulent and that the "biased" Indian media were promoting fabricated stories.
The NIA had said last week that Geelani and his family had amassed wealth worth crores of rupees and also own several benami properties. The investigating agency had also released the details of the wealth amassed by 13 top Kashmiri separatists.
"Syed Ali Geelani always resisted and resents the Indian hegemony and hence authorities out of frustration were resorting to these under hand means and even tried to assassinate him... After they failed to cow down his spirits, authorities feel desperate to malign freedom movement and thus services of NIA are being utilized to create a negative impression about Syed Ali Geelani," the statement said.