SIA files charge sheet against Hurriyat leader, 8 others in MBBS seat selling case

‘Qazi Yasir distributed money among militants, evading arrest’

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Dec 30: The State Investigation Agency (SIA) of Jammu and Kashmir Police today filed its first charge sheet against nine people including Hurriyat Conference leader and chairman of Salvation Movement Zaffar Akbar Bhat in “selling” of MBBS seats in Pakistan to Kashmiri students.
The charge sheet under Section 173 CrPc was filed in Case (FIR No. 05/2020) under Section 13, 17, 18, 40, ULP Act, 420 IPC of Police Station CIK Srinagar before Special Judge designated Court at Srinagar under NIA Act.
Besides Akbar Bhat alias Zaffar Akbar Bhat of Usmania Colony Baghi-Mehtab here, the charge sheet has been filed against Fatima Shah wife of Nisar Ahmad Shah of Palhalan Pattan, at present Nundreshi Colony near Sham Lal Pump Bemina, Srinagar, Altaf Ahmad Bhat (A/P Pakistan) son of Abdul Jabar Bhat, Qazi Yasir son of Late Nisar Ahmad Qazi of Qazi Mohalla, Reshi Bazar, Anantnag, Mohammad Abdullah Shah son of Ghulam Ahmad Shah of Kulpora Salkoot Kupwara, Sabzar Ahmad Sheikh son of Bashir Ahmad Sheikh of Nowgam, Shangus Anantnag, Manzoor Ahmad Shah (A/P Pakistan) son of Ghulam Ahmad Shah of Kulpora Salkote Kupwara and Mohammad Iqbal Mir son of Ghulam Rasool Mir of Cheeni Chowk near Khwaja Mir Ali School Anantnag of Mahaz Azadi Front.
“Police Station Counter Intelligence Kashmir on receipt of information through reliable sources that several unscrupulous persons including some Hurriyat leaders were hand in glove with some educational consultancies and were selling Pakistan-based MBBS seats and seats in other professional courses in various colleges and universities, registered the case in July 2020,” the SIA said.
“The information on the basis of which criminal investigations were started into the matter also suggested that the money collected from the parents of the aspiring or potential students was used, at least partly, to support and fund (militancy) and separatism in different ways,” it added.
During investigation, the SIA said oral, documentary and technical evidences were collected and on analysis of collected evidences it surfaced that MBBS and other professional degree related seats were preferentially given to those students who are close family members or relatives of killed militants.
“Evidence also came on record to show that money had been variously put into channels that ended up in supporting programmes and projects pertaining to (militancy) and separatism”, it said, adding, “For example, money collected in disguise of providing medical and other technical courses in various institutions of Pakistan were used to fuel up the unrest post elimination of (militants) including Burhan Wani in 2016 and every effort was made to disturb the peace and tranquillity post abrogation of Article 35A and 370 of Indian Constitution.”
The SIA claimed that the examination of witnesses corroborated by other circumstantial evidence indicated that many families who approached Hurriyat leaders to avail the programme of Hurriyat on the “behest of ISI” that aimed at incentivising militancy by compensating the family of slain militants by way of providing free of cost MBBS and Engineering seats as monetary consideration.”
“By incentivizing the next of kin of killed militants for the (militancy) and related activities of their killed militant relatives, Pakistan is trying to keep the pot boiling and tends to radicalize the impressionable minds in the veil of technical education,” the SIA said. As per investigation, the SIA said on an average the cost of a seat ranged between Rs 10 to 12 lakhs and depending upon the “political heft of a Hurriyat leader who intervenes, concessions were extended to the aspiring student and his family.”
“On the basis of available evidence, a conservative estimate indicated that the money involved could be around Rs. 04 crore per annum, on the basis of the fact that allocation of seats for distribution by individual Hurriyat leaders where around 40 seats for MBBS programme every year,” the SIA said, adding, “The historical bonhomie between Hurriyat leaders and their masters in Pakistan has been again exposed through the investigations and has exposed their nefarious designs once more of being hand in glove with the (militants) based in Kashmir valley and Pakistan and the undercurrents of their close knit relationship is only to destabilize the UT of J&K and Union of India.”
The charge sheet revealed that Qazi Yasir son of late Mirwaiz South Kashmir, Qazi Nissar Ahmad, received the raised money from one of the accused and distributed it among the militants. It said that he is evading arrest and strenuous efforts were made to secure his presence but the agency could not succeed. However four persons Zaffar Akbar Bhat , Fatima Shah, Mohammad Abdullah Shah and Sabzar Ahmad Sheikh have been arrested and produced before the court.
“During investigation it was found that the accumulated money under well planned conspiracy with Mohammad Abdullah Shah S/O Ghulam Ahmad Shah R/o Kulpora Salkoot Kupwara and Qazi Yasir S/o Late Nisar Ahmad Qazi R/o Qazi Mohalla, Reshi Bazar, Anantnag was ploughed into militancy to create law and order problems by disturbing peace, damaging public property, striking terror among the common masses and creating potential threat to the sovereignty of India”, read the charge sheet.
As per charge sheet the agency could not trace four persons who received the raised money.
As per the charge sheet during the search, cash of Rs. 12,02,400 was recovered from Abdullah Filling Station owned by Jan Mohammad Bhat, nephew of Mohammad Akbar Bhat.
The charge sheet read that during investigation, the documents having bearing on the case especially of bank documents were seized on spot. “The seized documents were persued and accordingly communication was made with the concerned banks. Some of the bank accounts having suspicious transaction were frozen by the concerned bank on the request of investigating agency. Perusals of bank statements of individuals having huge and suspicious transactions were summoned and their statements were recorded. On the strength of their oral statements, it was primarily established that the deposits in the accounts of accused persons were made on account of providing admissions in various technical and professional courses in Pakistan including MBBS”, read the charge sheet.
The charge sheet read that the statement of witnesses were recorded wherein it surfaced that the admissions in MBBS and other professional courses was preferentially given to those students whose close family member or relative has been killed by militants, through recognized members of Hurriyat chapter of valley through their recommendations are well received by their counterparts in Pakistan.
The charge sheet read that on such recommendations the Next of Kins (NoKs) of killed militants were compensated by the Pakistan authorities as assured morale booster in the form of free admission in various technical and professional courses especially MBBS to keep pot of militancy boiling and infuse new spirit into the militant fold.
The charge sheet further reads that the accused persons in conspiracy with Hurriyat leaders of Pakistan and Kashmir were demanding huge amount of money from parents for getting their children admitted in different technical courses especially MBBS in Pakistan.
“Moreover, they also would arrange recommendation letters from Hurriyat leaders and other valid travel document) from Pakistan Embassy, New Delhi to facilitate their visit to Pakistan for admission. All the arrangements of parents/students in Pakistan were usually done by the accused persons under a well-planned conspiracy with the co-conspirators based in Pakistan. The students were made to appear in the National Talent Search Test at Hurriyat office in Pakistan as a dupe tactics to make them believe that they were writing a pre-qualifying test which would lead to their admission in professional colleges in Pakistan. Such tests were mostly facilitated by the persons, relatives of the accused persons who had exfiltrated to Pakistan in 1990’s to get illegal arms training and are settled in Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir…”, it read.