An accused in the case involving suspended J&K Police officer Davinder Singh was allotted two medical college seats in Pakistan, the NIA chargesheet in the case has said.
The accused, Irfan Shafi Mir, is an advocate and is alleged to be associated with Hizb-ul Mujahideen (HuM). He had been arrested by J&K Police on January 11 while travelling in suspended deputy SP Singh’s car along with HuM’s Shopian district ‘commander’ Syed Mushtaq Naveed, alias Naveed Babu.
“During searches at Mir’s house in Kashmir we found documents that show he had been allotted two seats by the Pakistani establishment to recommend Kashmiri students for medical colleges in Pakistan,” a senior NIA officer said, giving details of the chargesheet. “He (Mir) had recently been given this privilege by Pakistan. He was planning to sell these seats to the highest bidder and was looking for suitable candidates before he was arrested.”
In the chargesheet filed against Singh and five others in a Jammu court on Monday, the NIA has said Davinder Singh was “being groomed by Pakistani officials for obtaining sensitive information” and that he was helping Hizbul militants access weapons from across the border.
The NIA has claimed that allotment of medical and engineering seats in Pakistani colleges is a major racket that feeds anti-India forces in the Valley. “Many of those allotted these seats sell them for Rs 15-20 lakh. This money is used to fuel anti-India activities in the Valley,” an NIA officer said.
The issue raised its head recently in the resignation of Syed Ali Shah Geelani from the All-Party Hurriyat Conference. As reported by The Indian Express, in his resignation letter Geelani accused Hurriyat representatives of corruption and cosying up to power structures across the border. Sources said Geelani’s reference was to the controversy surrounding medical seats in Pakistan.
The NIA has maintained that the system of recommending students through Hurriyat leaders in Pakistan colleges has aided that country’s efforts to destabilise India.
In its chargesheet against Hurriyat leaders arrested in 2018, the NIA has said, “This shows a triangular nexus wherein the terrorists, the Hurriyat and the Pakistani establishment are the three verticals and they are ostensibly patronising Kashmiri students to prepare a generation of doctors and technocrats in Kashmir who will have leanings towards Pakistan.”
The chargesheet has alleged that most students recommended by Hurriyat leaders were either children of former militants or active militants, or were known to Hurriyat leaders. Many of these applications were allegedly recommended by Geelani himself, the chargesheet has said. Further, it stated, militants who had fled to Pakistan would pursue their case with he establishment there.
The agency seized documents from houses of various Hurriyat leaders. A document seized from Hurriyat leader Nayeem Khan’s residence shows that he allegedly recommended a student for admission in ‘s Standard Medical College because her “family remained committed to the freedom struggle through thick and thin”.
According to the chargesheet on Davinder Singh, Irfan Mir met the HuM leadership in Pakistan and also met “Umar Cheema, Ahshan Chaudhary, Sohail Abbas and others of ISI of Pakistan”. The NIA has stated that he was tasked to identify and activate the new hawala channels for transfer of money for sustaining terrorist activities in Kashmir.
The chargesheet stated, “Investigation also revealed that certain officials of Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi were in constant touch with Irfan Shafi Mir, who was provided with funds to organise seminars in J&K to mobilise the masses against the Government of India. Mir also used to receive instructions and money from Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi and facilitated visa applications for a number of Kashmiris for visit to Pakistan.”
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