Phones seized in J&K jail throw light on stone-pelting, Pak links

03 April 2017

The Jammu and Kashmir police have blown the lid off a major conspiracy behind stone-pelting after it recovered 14 cell phones from under-trials in the high-security Baramulla sub-jail on Sunday.

This followed specific intelligence inputs about mobile phones being used by some detainees from jail premises to instigate stone-pelting in different parts of the valley.

Two of the cell phones were seized from Hurriyat hardliner Masarat Alam, the architect of the 2010 unrest in Kashmir. "A joint search was launched by police and jail authorities in Baramulla sub-jail on the basis of information that some incriminating material, including unauthorised cell phones, is being used inside," a police spokesman said.

The police have also found that some of the terrorists in the jail were in touch with their mentors in Pakistan through WhatsApp.

"There are some of them (inmates) who have had links across [the border]. They are already [accused] in certain FIRs (First Information Reports) wherein murders have been committed. There are quite a few militants there. So we have recovered some phones from them as well. They are on WhatsApp and we can see that they were in touch with Pakistani numbers as well. We will look into the whole issue," said Imtiyaz Hussain, Senior Superintendent of Police, Baramulla.

"An FIR has been registered and investigation is on as to how these articles, which are not authorised as per jail manual, entered the jail premises," the spokesman said. "We are trying to find out who was in touch with these people. We are trying to find the call details and decode the WhatsApp data."

The crackdown comes against the backdrop of three people getting killed when security forces fired at a mob which was marching towards the encounter site at Chadoora in central Kashmir's Budgam district on Tuesday. More than 63 security personnel, including 43 Central Reserve Police Force men and 20 policemen, were injured in stone-pelting there.

Hussian told DNA that phones were used to instigate stone-pelting and step up militant activities in Kashmir.

Alam, 45, was arrested on 17 April 2015, two days after he shouted pro-Pakistan slogans and called for Kashmir's merger with Pakistan during a rally to welcome Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani, in which his supporters also unfurled Pakistani flags.

In fact, he was arrested a month after he was released by the then Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government after almost spending four years in jail for leading the "Quit Kashmir Movement", in which 120 youth were killed, mostly in security force firing on stone-pelting mobs in 2010.


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