“Ten to 15 more people need to die so that something can happen.”
These are the supposedly ominous words the police in Srinagar heard one Shabir Ahmad Wani telling Ghulam Ahmad Dar.
The police intercepted the communication and the content was given to some TV channels to be shown throughout Thursday.
While the administration said the conversation revealed attempts to instigate violence and cause deaths, Shabir’s family insists it was just “street talk” and that he was a car-dealer.
The police are saying both are hardline separatists. Shabir, who is from Narbal in central Kashmir, was arrested on Thursday after the transcripts were telecast.
The two were allegedly talking about a Budgam (16 km south of Srinagar) rally that had started in the evening.
The security personnel later dispersed the rally with mild cane charge and no casualty was reported.
Shabir’s brother Mehraj tried to give a comprehensive picture. “Most people in Kashmir say that it’s better to die once than dying every single day, maybe that would get some solution. It was just common street talk.”
Inspector General (Kashmir Range) Farooq Ahmad said: “I hadn’t heard of him (Shabir) before.”
However, in the same breath, Ahmad said: “He is a mobster, a hardline Hurriyat activist
who used to mobilise crowds for protest.”
The police are looking for Dar now. He is supposedly lying low. The police say he is an office-bearer of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference wing led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
“He is more important, an active member of the Hurriyat,” said Aftab Kakroo, SP Budgam.
Intelligence agencies have intercepted another conversation between a Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen leader and an unidentified suspect, a Shopian resident.
In the conversation, the Hizbul terrorist sought details on stone pelting in the valley and inquired about the increased army presence.
With inputs from New Delhi