A heavy flow of money was behind the stone-pelting protests in Kashmir last summer, according to a top militant leader who was believed to be instigating the stir in the valley.
Hardline Hurriyat leader Masarat Alam, who became an icon for protesters, has told interrogators that he spent Rs 40 lakh to organise the protests that left more than 110 people dead in clashes with security forces.
"He also revealed that he had received the money from separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani," a senior police officer told IANS.
"We are trying to find out the channels through which the money came to Geelani and was distributed among the protest instigators like Masarat Alam," Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda has been quoted as saying in local newspaper Daily Excelsior.
Alam was arrested in October and curfew was imposed in Srinagar and other major towns of the valley a day after the arrest to prevent any violence.
The protests gained in intensity following the death of 17-year-old Tufail Mattoo after he was hit by a teargas shell in Srinagar June 11. The subsequent unrest in the valley claimed 110 lives, of mostly youngsters.