June 2018 News

Pro-Pakistan Blog, Which Had Hit Out At Shujaat Bukhari, Continues To Threaten Journalists And Leaders In Kashmir India

29 June 2018
Firstpost
Ishfaq Naseem

Srinagar: The anonymous blog kashmirfight.wordpress.com, which the police claimed was run by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) from Pakistan, not only warned founder-editor of Rising Kashmir, Shujaat Bukhari, against participating in a peace conference in Dubai, but has also hit out at separatist leaders, including Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik, for asking Hurriyat leadership to engage in talks with New Delhi. The blog has also targeted human rights activist Khurram Parvez for being close to the Indian establishment and even securing a job for his wife, as well as prevailing on militants to ban the use of grenades and IEDs in Kashmir, which were taking a heavy toll on the government forces in the state. This comes notwithstanding the fact that Parvez had also served a prison term during the agitation after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, and was slapped with the Public Safety Act (PSA) for his anti-India activities. It is believed that Parvez's wife got a job in the government's social welfare department in December 2013. The blog has blamed him for helping the Indian establishment to put some separatist leaders behind bars after the agitation over the transfer of land to Amarnath Shrine board in 2008. Parvez said that it was too early to comment on the blog. The blog has also targeted Malik for meeting PDP youth leader Waheed-ur-Rehman Para. But Malik, as part of the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), has been giving shutdown calls and often faces arrests for 'disrupting peace'. Para said that both Malik and PDP had organised separate iftar parties in a restaurant in Srinagar and there was 'nothing like a meeting'. The pro-Pakistan blog has also attacked businessman Yasin Khan, who was earlier investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for funding the separatist activities in Kashmir. It has also named some businessmen, including former president of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Mushtaq Ahmad Wani, for engaging in talks with the government. After the NIA raids, some of the separatist leaders as well as businessmen had softened their stand and had been lashing out at militants for killing Kashmiri policemen. Some of the businessmen have been holding regular meetings with former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to highlight their business issues even as they continue supporting the separatists. Some businessmen were even posted at some top government institutions. Prominent businessman Mohammad Ashraf Mir, who was also named in the blog for being part of the secret talks with the government, was appointed as a director by the board of directors of Jammu and Kashmir Bank to 'fill the casual vacancies, in the office of directors with effect from 10 August 2016.' Although the blog was reported to have been launching a campaign against Bukhari and two other senior journalists - Kashmir-based Ahmed Ali Fayyaz and Delhi-based Iftikhar Gilani - it was on Thursday that police said that the blogger was an LeT militant. According to the police, the killing of Bukhari was carried out by LeT and besides the blog, 'intimidating content' was spread against him through a Facebook account 'Kadwa Sach Kashmir' and Twitter handle ahmadkhalid@313. 'During investigation and with the co-operation of service providers, tangible evidence has been collected to establish that individuals behind it belong to LeT organisation and the content on social media was posted from Pakistan,' a police official said in a statement. He added that LeT militant Sheikh Sajjad Gul alias Ahmad Khalid, resident of Srinagar who is currently in Pakistan, was updating the blog. According to police, the attack was carried out by LeT top commander Naveed Jatt with the help of Muzafar Ahmad alias Talha of Qazigund - who has been active as a militant since January 2018 - and Azad Ahmad Malik alias Dada of Bijbehara, who has been active since December 2016. Deputy Inspector General of Police, central Kashmir range, Vidhi Kumar Birdi said that the 'IP address of the blog has been investigated and we have also identified the person from LeT who is running the blog.' The LeT had, however, earlier denied that it had anything to do with the killing of Bukhari. The killing was also condemned by mainstream political parties. Immediately after the police held a press conference, the blog was updated and said, 'India has already started an campaign that India is not a violator on any front as was mentioned in the UN Report or some other previous reports of other Human Rights organisations so in order to clear its name from human rights violators, Shujaat Bukhari like incidents only suit India and India can go to any extend. This incident is clearly the work of Indian establishment on the behest of Delhi (sic).' Earlier, the blog carried a post which said that Bukhari took part in a conference in Dubai which was attended by mainstream politicians from National Conference and Congress from Kashmir as well as separatist leaders from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). After the conference which was held in July 2017, United Jehad Council (UJC) chief Sayeed Salahudeen, had dubbed its participants as 'working on payrolls'. Congress leader GN Monga, who attended the Dubai conference, said that the participants had laid stress on 'ensuring peace in Kashmir' through dialogue between India and Pakistan. 'The conference was attended by many, including those from NC and BJP as well,' he said. Reacting swiftly to the police statement about the blog issuing intimidating statements, the blogger of kashmirfight.wordpress.com has said, 'With the start of armed struggle against the occupation, many individuals other than from the ranks of armed groups also put their efforts to get rid of this occupation of India and they took other paths other than taking the gun in their hands. These guys came from every walk of life, from every professional background but one thing was and is common that they wanted and want to get freedom from this occupation. But at the very same time this conflict also raised a band of such individuals who saw this Kashmir conflict a ladder for their personal gains and success. They hypocritically covered their individual success path by betraying the sacrifices of those who laid their lives (sic).' 'It is not that all are having such personal interests but they intentionally or unintentionally serve Indian interests more than serving Kashmir cause. One can easily analyse Shujaat Bukhari like incidents, his demise serves Indian interests more than anybody else's. India is hell bent to put blame of this incident on Pakistan and militant organisations and no body dared to question their line of investigation (sic).' The blog has also raised certain questions on police investigation on Bukhari's killing. 'Why on the first count they (police) directly blamed a certain organisation? How come Police knew who was the executor right at the time of incident? See the campaign how police and intelligence agencies created an environment that such and such guys are involved? If they thought the blog or the blog writer is involved why didn't at that very time they took appropriate action against the blog? If Shujaat Bukhari was on threat why didn't they provide appropriate security cover to the said person (sic)?' 'There are many such queries that create an atmosphere of doubt on the said biased investigation. There are the clear instructions from the Delhi that the investigation should frame charges against particular organisation and at the very same time create an opinion among the masses on that,' the blogger added. Separatist sources also said that some of the leaders in PoK, who have also been targeted by the blogger, had come to Srinagar and met some of the mainstream political leaders as part of the track-II diplomacy on Kashmir. Even as some of the separatist leaders in Kashmir have rejected the unilateral ceasefire with the Government of India, the JRL - comprising separatist leaders Malik, Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, and Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq - had asked the central government to clear its position on the dialogue for them to join any talks.

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