June 2002 News

Iftikar Geelani admits ISI link

10 June 2002
The Hindustan Times
Neeta Sharma

New Delhi: Iftikar Geelani, 35-year-old son-in-law of Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, is believed to have admitted in a city court that he was an agent of Pakistan's ISI. In the course of hearing on Monday, Geelani reportedly said he had been passing on classified information about the movement of Indian troops to the ISI. When chief metropolitan magistrate Sangita Sehgal asked him if she should record this in his statement, Geelani nodded in assent. Geelani, arrested by Delhi Police's Special Cell on Sunday, has been remanded in five days' police custody. He has been charged under the Official Secrets Act. Also on Sunday, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and another of his sons-in-law, Altaf Ahmed Shah, were arrested in Srinagar. The Hurriyat leader has been charged under POTA and sent to jail in Ranchi, Jharkhand. Geelani admitted to owning the laptop recovered from his Khirkee Extension home on Sunday, and to having filed the documents stored in it. Police had seized the five-page file containing facts on the army and paramilitary forces in Jammu and Kashmir. "The file in the laptop is called 'Forces' and is saved in the Wordstar directory of the hard disk. It contains detailed information on the deployment of troops and paramilitary forces along with maps," said a senior police officer. Officials who interrogated Geelani said he had confessed to having known many ISI agents, with whom he had been in regular touch. "My father-in-law was impressed by my motivation and dedication to the cause of jihad, and this is the reason he married his daughter to me," he reportedly told the investigators. Geelani did a B.Sc. from Baramulla in 1988, and a got a diploma in journalism from Delhi's Indian Institute of Mass Communication. He joined the Jammu and Kashmir Times in 1997, and subsequently began work for the Pakistani daily, The Nation. At the time of his arrest, he used to make around Rs 30,000 a month, mainly by writing in The Nation, for which he was India correspondent, and The Kashmir Times of whose Delhi bureau he was chief. He also reported for Radio Deutsche Welle, Germany.


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