Stone pelting jammu and kashmir
A Kashmiri Muslim demonstrator throws a stone towards Indian police (unseen) during a protest in Srinagar January 21, 2016.Reuters

Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency has been reportedly routing funds to the tune of Rs 70 lakh to stone-pelters in the violence-hit state of Jammu and Kashmir through Hurriyat leader Shabir Shah.

According to Times Now, it has been revealed by three suspected ISI agents arrested by anti-terrorism squads of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra from Faizabad and Mumbai recently. The suspected agents have confessed to police that they regularly received money from the Pakistan High Commission.

How the money was routed to the Hurriyat

India has always maintained that Pakistan has been funding terror outfits in India, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, through both state and non-state actors. It has always been speculated the Pakistan pays protestors in the valley to come out on the streets and pelt stones at security forces.

Times Now claims to have in its possession documents to prove that Pakistan's ISI has been funding the Hurriyat, who in turn have been paying stone-pelters in the Valley. The documents carry details of how the money was routed, who funded and who received the money and in whose pockets most of the money ended up eventually.

The channel also claimed to have accessed the cash register of the ISI, which contained details of the two ends of the money trail. One end is in Rawalpindi, where the ISI headquarters are located, while the other end is in Srinagar, where the Hurriyat is based. The money is sent to districts like Anantnag, Pulwama and Kupwara from Srinagar.

Ahmed Sagar, an ISI man in Rawalpindi, was constantly in touch with Hurriyat leaders, especially Shabir Shah who would send the money to several district offices of the Hurriyat so that they could hire the youth who would eventually take to the streets and pelt stones at the security forces.

Times Now reported that Sagar is believed to be a close aide of Abdul Basit, Pakistan's envoy to India.

PMO reacts

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) reportedly issued a directive on Saturday asking concerned authorities to keep a close vigil on the financial activities of those associated with separatists and Hurriyat leaders in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Director General of Police in Jammu and Kashmir has also been told to initiate action and submit a status report of what has been done to the Centre.

"Every effort is being taken to ensure this kind of sponsored unrest will be put to an end," said Minister of State Jitendra Singh. "We need immediate President's rule in Kashmir" BJP MP Subramanian Swamy added.

Jammu and Kashmir has been hit by violence since the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces in July 2016. People in the Valley have been protesting against his death by resorting to stone-pelting at security forces. There has been a sudden rise in stone-pelting incidents in the state.