NEW DELHI — If the Counter Intelligence Kashmir (CIK) wing of Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is to be believed, the Peoples Democratic Party’s youth president and the former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s confidante Waheed-ur-Rehman Para had developed and maintained an intimate liaison with the Kashmiri separatist leaders as well as the top commanders of the outlawed militant organisations Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) all through the PDP-BJP government’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir.
In the CIK’s chargesheet, Para is alleged to have acted as a mole of the Pakistani establishment, two particular militant outfits and the pro-Pakistan faction of the Hurriyat Conference while being in the PDP government.
According to the fresh chargesheet, he had not only provided huge amounts of money to the two militant groups for buying arms and ammunition but also pushed Hurriyat’s secessionist agenda and facilitated the LeT’s Kashmir operational chief Abu Dujana’s forced marriage with a Kashmiri girl in his home district of Pulwama.
Abu Dujana of Pakistan, who was killed in an encounter with security forces on 1 August 2017, had reportedly married a girl of Hakripora, Pulwama, with Para’s “blessings”.
“During investigation, it surfaced that WRP (Waheed-ur-Rehman Para) had close links with two dreaded foreign LeT terrorists namely @ Abu Qasim and @ Abu Dujana and (he) had been meeting them through OWG Mohammad Yousuf Lone @ Yousuf Gadoora during the period of 2014-15 (Mufti’s government) and 2016-17 (Mehbooba’s government). As regards connection between WRP and Abu Qasim and Abu Dujana, there is an eyewitness to this (A1). Another witness (A-3 protected witness) has stated that there was a forced marriage of a girl with Abu Dujana by Yousuf Gadoora. Since it has been separately proved that Yousuf Gadoora was in close touch with WRP, by inference this forced marriage had the blessings of WRP,” says para-18 of the 19-page CIK chargesheet.
Dujana’s predecessor and LeT’s dreaded Pakistani commander Abu Qasim operated in the valley for a long time. He revived the LeT with fresh recruitments and scores of fatal attacks on the security forces and the civilian targets. J&K Police’s top most counterinsurgent Altaf ‘Laptop’ was trapped and killed by Qasim in Bandipora on 6 October 2015. On 28 October 2015, security forces and Police eliminated Qasim in a successful operation in Kulgam district of southern Kashmir.
The revelation of Para having passed an amount of Rs 5 lakh to Geelani through his son-in-law Altaf Fantosh, has been already made in a separate chargesheet by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and has now been repeated by the CIK.
The CIK chargesheet, on the basis of a report from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), claims to have accessed Signal exchanges between Para and some LeT commanders based in Pakistan. Quoting the data received on Para’s Apple phone, with BSNL SIM 9419000210, through the social networking app Signal, the CIK chargesheet says that the PDP youth leader continued to receive messages from the LeT militants in Pakistan even after his release from detention in the middle of 2020.
“The data retrieved from the cell phone of accused reveals that WRP has received messages from Pakistan numbers +92-2132270816, +92-3224408835 and +92-3369863038 on 26.10.2020 at 14:56:50 and 14:57:01 respectively on his cell phone number 9419000210,” says para-25 of the CIK chargesheet with reference to the NIA chargesheet filed in March 2021.
The CIK chargesheet contains references to Para’s email exchanges with the senior Hurriyat leader G.M. Safi. A senior Jamaat-e-Islami leader from Baramulla, Safi has been operating from Pakistan since long. He had reportedly shifted his base from Kashmir to Pakistan in early 1990s. For his strong clout in Hurriyat and JeI, he headed both the organisations in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
In 2019-20, however, Hurriyat (G) chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani removed Safi and declared one Abdullah Gilani, also a resident of Baramulla, as his ‘representative’ in the PoK and Pakistan. But enjoying the Pakistani establishment’s support, Safi is calling the shots in the separatist camp. In 2020, Ashraf Sehrai, who died in detention in Jammu last month, was known to be enjoying Safi’s support from Pakistan.
“The above-mentioned ultra-sensitive intelligence further reveals that WRP has exchanged emails with secessionist elements namely G.M. Safi Chairman of Tehreek-i-Hurriyat and Altaf Ahmad Shah @ Fantosh, son-in-law of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, as is evident by the content of an email that came to be known to the agencies. While G.M. Safi stays in Pakistan, Fantosh is in India. These emails exchanged between WRP and Pak based operatives received by WRP on e-mail id email@example.com, are not only suspicious but (also) seditious in nature,” says para-31 of the CIK chargesheet.
“In the first mail exchanged on December 26, 2015, G.M. Safi writes that in reply to the letter sent (possibly by Geelani to Nawaz Sharif), there was no mention of decrease or increase (unclear what was been referred to?) but Pakistan has asked for a fresh proposal. Hence, Safi requests that Geelani consider this as an important matter and take out time for the proposal,” says the chargesheet.
For the first time, it reveals that Para was in touch with the Pakistani establishment through Safi. Nonetheless, it remains shrouded in the mystery whether this intimacy was limited to only Para and Safi or the then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and the PDP President Mehbooba Mufti were also in the loop.
On 23 December, 2015—three days before this email—Mufti had fallen ill during his Srinagar tour. Subsequently on 7 January 2016, he passed away at AIIMS in New Delhi.
In another email, Para speaks about the arrest of one Kashmiri, Bashir Ahmad Baba of Rainawari Srinagar, who had been arrested by the Anti-Terrorist Squad of Gujarat in Ahmadabad on 13 March 2010. In the mail, Para, who seemed to be eager for Baba’s release in response to a request from Pakistan, speaks of the urgent need of the engagement of a ‘very good lawyer’.
While Para is currently in judicial custody, his lawyer, former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and the PDP have refuted all the charges levelled against him by the NIA and the CIK.