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Upcoming politician in police net

Devesh K. Pandey

"Agreed to rope in young men for Hizbul Mujahideen for money" While he made trips to Delhi to meet senior politicians, his links with terrorist groups remained a secret

NEW DELHI: Haji Gulam Muhiddin Dar, who was arrested recently along with other Hizbul Mujahideen militants by the South-West Delhi police, had until not very long ago hobnobbed with influential politicians here in the Capital and was considered an upcoming and important figure in Kashmir politics.

According to the police, Haji Gulam had contested the Lok Sabha election last year against Mehbooba Mufti, daughter of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. While he remained politically active in the Anantnag and Pulwama areas, he made frequent trips to Delhi to meet senior politicians. His links with terrorist groups remained a secret.

According to the police, investigations have revealed that in 2002 Haji Gulam met a Hizbul Mujahideen militant, Mustaq Ahmad Butt, who introduced him to Zamil, a Field Intelligence Unit official of Pakistan's Inter-State Intelligence (ISI), who asked him to pass on inputs about troop movements and deployments. In due course, he was introduced to Mustaq's brother, Abdul Majid, and his other accomplices, allegedly working for Hizbul Mujahideen and ISI.

After Haji Gulam lost the Lok Sabha election, his political career was almost over.

In a bid to make big money so that he could survive as a politician, he then allegedly agreed to rope in young men and help intensify Hizbul Mujahideen operations in the Valley and other parts of the country, including Delhi.

During his interrogation, he allegedly disclosed that this April, he met some ISI operatives in Srinagar.

Subsequently, he motivated Abdul Qayoom Khan, serving as Deputy Director in the Soil Conservation Department, to become a receiver of hawala money. Idea was that since Abdul Qayoom was a Govt employee, no one would suspect his involvement.

Also, the terrorists were in search of people with whom their money was safe.

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