PDP’s Para gave ₹5cr to Hurriyat tokeep Valley on boil: NIA charge sheet
Peoples Democratic Party leader Waheed-ur-Rehman Para gave ₹5 crore to Hurriyat Conference to keep Kashmir on the boil after the encounter of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani, the National Investigation Agency has said in a charge sheet filed on Monday.
This amount was given by Para “possibly on behalf of PDP to Hurriyat Conference for keeping the secessionist activities alive”, NIA added in the charge sheet. HT has reviewed excerpts of the charge sheet.
Para was arrested on November 25 last year by the central agency after multiple rounds of questioning.
In a statement issued later in the day, PDP additional spokesperson Najmu Saqib said the charges against Para were an attempt to muzzle the voices of Kashmir.
“A through and through democrat who dedicated his life to strengthening the cause of the mainstream in Jammu And Kashmir, Waheed by putting his life and limb in harm’s way, is being punished for what he should’ve been appreciated for,” Saqib said.
“We strongly believe that none of these frivolous charges would stand judicial scrutiny and Waheed would eventually get justice,” Saqib added.
The charge sheet, which focuses on Para’s role in supporting terror and secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, said “Para gave ₹5 crore in 2016 to Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Fantoosh to keep the situation boiling in Kashmir valley after the killing of HM terrorist Burhan Wani.”
Funtoosh is separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law and a member of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference. He was arrested in July 2017 in a J&K terror funding case.
According to the investigation agency, Funtoosh was a close associate of Para and the two maintained contact during the turmoil in the wake of Wani’s killing.
Wani, 21-year-old Hizbul commander and the poster boy of militancy in Kashmir, was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8, 2016. The encounter led to large scale stone pelting and public unrest in the Kashmir valley which went on for months.
The encounter took place during the tenure of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti as the erstwhile state’s chief minister.
Para has been named as accused in the supplementary charge sheet filed in NIA’s probe against suspended J&K police officer Davinder Singh, who was arrested in January 2020 for assisting HM terrorists.
Elaborating on the PDP youth leader’s role in the case, NIA charge sheet said Para also gave ₹10 lakh to advocate Irfan Shafi Mir to hand over to HM terrorists, Syed Naveed Mushtaq alias Naveed Babu. Mir and Naveed were arrested with Singh last year.
In February-March 2019, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, “Irfan Mir called Para on secure social chat platform, Signal, and made him talk to Syed Naveed Mushtaq when he was staying in the rented house of Irfan Mir in Jammu. Para talked to Syed Naveed and asked him to take care of his party workers campaigning for parliament election in Pulwama”, the NIA charge sheet said.
The charge sheet also said that Para gave another ₹10 lakh to Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Abu Dujana, apart from providing logistical support to LeT commander Naved Jatt. The agency, however, did not mention the year of this exchange.
Jatt, who was involved in the killing of journalist Shujaat Bukhari, was gunned down by security forces in November 2018.
Subsequently, the agency added “Para was also involved in gun running racket in Kupwara area in 2016”. “He used to bring weapons in his vehicle accompanied by an escort vehicle as none of the security agencies used to check it [him being a politician],” NIA said.
According to NIA, Para played a crucial role in sustaining the “political-separatist-terrorist” nexus in Jammu and Kashmir apart from financing the activities of the Hizbul Mujahideen.