Raids and NIA

July 29, 2017 EDITORIAL 271 Views
Raids and NIA

There is a widespread outcry over political issues happening in Kahsmir.  The recent raids after National Investigation Agency started probing what they call as the illegal transaction or hawala money accumulated by the separatist leaders in Kashmir. For the first time since 2002, a series of raids have been carried out at the residences of the Hurriyat leaders. While in 2002, it was the Income Tax Department, now it is the National Investigation Agency. Among the houses that were raided are those of Altaf Fantoosh, Shahid-ul-Islam, businessman Zahoor Watali and some second rung leaders belonging to major secessionist formations. The NIA also raided the houses of Farooq Ahmad Dar, Gazi Javed Baba and the office of Nayeem Khan, the three leaders who were recently stung by a New Delhi based television channel which showed them purportedly accepting that they received funds from Pakistan. However, all the three including Khan has vehemently denied that they said so. Khan called the video doctored and asked the channel to play its unedited version before the people. The NIA said that it had seized nearly Rs 1.5 crore from various locations in the Kashmir Valley, besides documents which were being scrutinised. However, if we go by the past records of such raids or for that matter multiple arrests of the senior and junior separatist leaders in the alleged hawala related cases, all of them have come to nought. This is why in popular opinion; all such raids are seen as politically motivated. And this is why the current raids have come as no surprise. They are different in that they are far bigger in scale than in the past. Hurriyat has termed the raids as a “pre-planned psychological crackdown” and a “well-thought plan to malign and defame our sacred movement”. The amalgam has asserted that it won’t “surrender” and “stop voicing the sentiments of our nation”. However, Hurriyat hardly needs to convince the people in Kashmir. Its opinion on the raids is widely shared in Valley too. People see them as more political than investigative in nature. More so, after the raids followed a sting operation carried out by a news channel. Few such channels enjoy any credibility in Valley, mainly because of their largely one-sided, rabble-rousing coverage of the situation in the state. This has made them inherently suspect in Kashmir. Not only are they not seen fair in their Kashmir reportage, people also impute a sinister design to it. In the case of the raids, it is generally believed that they are motivated by an objective to delegitimize the Hurriyat and also to counter the narrative generated by the fresh unrest in Valley with the college students including the girls also for the first time joining the protests. There is a lot more to see and lot more to ponder in coming days over Kashmir’s political sphere.

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