Martyr-making: Hizb Too In Touch With Pakistan-based Terror Outfit9 July 2010
The Economic Times
Srinagar: It’s not only Kashmiri separatist leaders who are burning the phone lines to seek martyrdom of more people across the Valley. Security agencies have also caught chatter of local terror sympathisers’ regular updates to PoK-based commanders on the assembly of stone-pelting crowds and counter-steps taken, including calling in of the Army. In a recently-tapped conversation between PoK-based Hizbul Mujahideen leader operating under the name “Abdul Inquallabi” and a supporter based in Shopian, the former is heard criticising the J&K administration’s decision to bring in the Army after several years, saying that “Yeh Hindustani fouj panga le rahi hai Kashmiriyon ke saath” (The Indian forces are instigating the Kashmiris). “Maine suna aaj fouj mangwayi hai,” (I have heard they have called in the Army) asks Inquallabi, to which the local link replies in the affirmative. “Haan pahunchi hai thodi is (Yes, some troops have arrived),” he is heard as telling the person across the border. “Srinagar ke ander fouj chhodi hai lekin idhar Shopian, Pulwama mein wahi hai...is nichle ilaake mein yehi CRPF aur police” (Army has arrived in Srinagar but in Shopian and Pulwama, police and the CRPF continue to be deployed),” informs the local source. The instigation of riotous mobs by elements across the border is clearly borne out by the cross-border calls. “Pathraav shuru hai?...Aaj nikla julus ki kucch nahi?” asks the Pakistan-based terrorist. To this, the man from Shopian replies that not only is stone-pelting on, but a (protest) procession is to be taken out at 9 ‘o’ clock. The local link also informs the Pakistan-based terror operative monitoring the unrest in J&K that all people had been directed in an early-morning announcement to come out for the procession. The two discuss the curfew in force in Srinagar and elsewhere. “Allah ki kasam aaj fouj ne raat ko hi curfew lagaya hai (the curfew was imposed tonight after the Army came in),” the local suspect is heard telling the Pakistan-based handler. The intercepts leave little doubt regarding the active involvement of Pakistan-based terror elements in the ongoing rioting in J&K. They also strengthen the agencies’ theory linking the unrest in the Valley to terror outfits, including Lashkar e Taiba, operating out of Pakistan. The Pakistani elements are using their J&K-based sympathisers to mobilise crowds and instigate them to indulge in attacks and stone-pelting against the security forces, leading to deaths in firing incidents. Such deaths are further exploited to touch an emotive chord with the local Kashmiris and further intensify mob anger. The purpose, as viewed by the intelligence agencies, could be either to vitiate the atmosphere ahead of the meeting of Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers scheduled for July 16. Also, the Pakistan-based terror outfits may be wanting to spoil the impression of normalcy that was gaining ground due to massive tourist arrivals into J&K in the current season. At least 4.4 lakh tourists were expected to visit the state this season, a big jump from the 2.4 lakh tourists arrivals in 2009. The ongoing unrest has played the ultimate spoiler for the tourism industry, with hotel bookings falling from 100% to just 10%.