Militants pay ex-gratia, use traders to run business
29 January 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: A diary, purportedly recovered from a detained woman of Jablipora, Bijbehara, has revealed that militants of Hizbul Mujahideen had procured 100 quintals of explosive material for the purpose of causing landmine and IED blasts in south Kashmir in the last two years. It has also revealed that Mohammad Ashraf Shah alias Suhail Faisal of Jablipora and Rayees Ahmed alias Rayees Kachru had planned and executed a large number of IED blasts, killing a number of soldiers. It has surfaced for the first time that the militants had been regularly paying ex-gratia compensation to the families whose residential houses get destroyed in gunbattles. The woman, whose militant brother has already been killed by security forces in Arwani area and whose militant brother-in-law is still operating with Hizbul Mujahideen, according to official sources, has purportedly handed over a diary of sensational disclosures to her interrogators last week. Excerpts quoted by official sources reveal that the most wanted Suhail Faisal had spent nearly Rs 2 lakh on his personal expenses including Rs 58,000 just to pay his cell phone bills for the months of September and October in 2005. An entry in the diary also shows that Rs 10,000 were paid as bribe to get a Hizbul Mujahideen supporter released from the army, which, if true, could be another cause of concern for the security forces. Hizb has also been lavish in giving out 'allowances' to its cadres on special occasions like Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha or the marriage ceremonies of its militants. According to these sources, over Rs 16 lakh had been given out to cadres across the State for the Eid festival last year while a number of the militants received amounts ranging between Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 for their marriages. According to the purported entries made in the diary, an amount of Rs 6.5 lakh was paid to one Gowhar in Srinagar on three days after the June 16th, 2005, car bomb explosion in which 11 civilians and 3 CRPF soldiers had got killed in Pulwama town. Around 100 civilians had sustained injuries in the same explosion that had been described by some demonstrators as a bomb dropped by an Indian Air Force jet. Gowhar, according to the diary, had received another payment of Rs 40,000 on June 25 and yet another payment of Rs 50,000 on June 29 last year for planning and executing a massive car bomb blast near Burnhall School in Sonwar and another major blast near Nishat Garden. On June 24, as many as 9 soldiers, traveling in a bus, had got killed in the blast near Nishat in Srinagar outskirts. It also reveals that an amount of Rs 5 lakh was paid to several conduits of the organisation before and after the July 20 blast near Burnhall School. Four Army soldiers and a civilian had died in this blast claimed by the organisation. According to the sources, Gowhar, who did not have his last name or any other information about him listed in the diary, seemed to be the main channel for procuring the explosives as there were 14 entries amounting to Rs 19 lakh against his name. Payment of Rs one lakh was made to one Imdad Wachi as a reward for carrying out an IED explosion targeting a Tata Sumo carrying army personnel near Punzgam in Pulwama district in December 2004. Nine soldiers of Army, including a Major, as also the civilian driver of the Tata Sumo had died in the massive explosion that occurred at a deserted spot close to the under-construction railway track in immediate vicinity of IAF's Awantipora base. The diary also reveals that Hizbul Mujahideen had been regularly paying different amounts of ex-gratia compensation to the people and harbourers whose houses got destroyed during the course of gunbattles between the militants and security forces. It reveals that Gowhar was paid Rs 2 lakh as compensation for a house in Anantnag town while one Yasin Khan and one Ashfaq Ahmad were given Rs 70,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively to repair their houses blasted by security forces. According to the contents quoted by official sources, militants of the organisation had paid Rs 38 lakh for buying explosives of various natures in less than two years while the total expenditure is estimated at Rs 3 crore. According to the purported entries in the diary, militants bought over 10,000 kg of explosives during the past two years in Kashmir valley only - a fact that has sent a chill down the spine of security and intelligence officials. The explosives if used successfully, were enough to blow up almost all the buildings in Srinagar city. According to the entries, militants of the organisation had distributed about 4,000 kg of explosives in the south Kashmir districts of Anantnag and Pulwama a month before the attacks. Army officials believe that there might be a nexus between militants and traders of explosive materials as huge quantities had been purchased by the militants to carry out their strikes. 'Selling such huge quantities of explosives to someone should raise at least a suspicion in the minds of the traders and they should have reported the matter to security agencies. It is not that militants can carry such huge loads of explosives from across the Line of Control,' Defence spokesman Lt Col V K Batra said. The security agencies are also worried about the recent incidents of politician-militant nexus coming to the fore, which has allegedly facilitated the movement of militants and helped them in executing their plans.