The Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik Thursday dismissed as “baseless” the NIA’s charge sheet against 12 people including several Hurriyat leaders for “waging war against India” and “subversive and secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir”.
Mirwaiz and Malik held a joint press conference at the former’s Srinagar residence. Geelani addressed the press conference over telephone. The leaders said the motive behind the “kidnapping” of Hurriyat leaders and others by the NIA was to coerce the JRL into a dialogue with Indian government. They also denounced Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat’s remarks and efforts of sections of Indian government and media to “link the political, peaceful and humane freedom struggle of the people of Jammu and Kashmir with terrorism.”
“They are trying to mislead the Indian people and the international community by such tactics,” the leaders said.
The leaders said NIA’s charge that Hurriyat and Pakistan incite Kashmir youth to violence was totally baseless.
They said the 2016 mass protests in Kashmir erupted after Indian forces killed Hizb commander Burhan Wani and dozens of civilians.
The NIA registered the case on May 30 last year and the first arrests were made on July 24. It claims searches at over 60 locations across Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Delhi led to the seizure of over “950 incriminating documents and over 600 electronic devices”.
The agency said over 300 witnesses were examined.
The agency said analysis of documents and digital devices had established that the Hurriyat leaders had established a network in the Kashmir Valley to incite the youth to “attack all symbols of Indian sovereignty, especially Indian security forces who are deployed there to maintain law and order”.
It also accuses the All Parties Hurriyat Conference of issuing ‘violent’ protest calendars.
The NIA said its probe “based on scientific and oral evidences has conclusively established that for carrying out terrorist and subversive activities, the gang of the accused persons is receiving funds from Pakistani agencies through hawala conduits such as Watali”.
It said funds for such activities were also raised “by generating illegal profits from LoC barter trade by doing under-invoicing and cash-dealings”.
“The money is routed through fake and bogus companies floated abroad and remitted to the Hurriyat leaders in Jammu and Kashmir. All these funds are then pumped by them into fuelling mass violence and terrorist activities so as to cause damage to public property, disrupt the essential services throwing normal life into chaos with an intention to threaten the unity, integrity and sovereignty of India”.