April 2002 News

Hurriyat funds dry up as cops turn on heat

19 April 2002
The Hindustan Times
Arun Joshi

Jammu: The government's crackdown on channels of Hurriyat funding has landed the separatist conglomerate in severe financial crisis. Though no Hurriyat leader is willing to concede the pinch, sources said the distribution of funds to families of slain militants has decreased considerably, and that Hurriyat leaders are no longer visiting funerals and condolence meetings. In recent weeks, the number of the people visiting the office of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) and the homes of its leaders has gone down markedly. Most of these visitors used to be financial help seekers. The queues are now getting shorter. This is the first time since its inception in 1993 that the Hurriyat is faced with a funds crunch. Money for the 'cause' has always flowed in from Muslim countries and non-resident Kashmiris - a fact that the APHC concedes. 'Yes we do receive money for the Kashmir cause and also to help victims of violence,' former Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said. In his last press meet in Jammu, Lone, another senior leader, said the Hurriyat used funds to help victims of violence. 'We have distributed Rs 1.5 crore among the people.' Lone insisted that accounts had been kept of all transactions. In recent months, the police have seized more than Rs 1.5 crore from various couriers bringing in money for Hurriyat leaders.


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