Monday, April 2, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bid to get passports for ultras
M.L. Kak
Tribune news Service

Jammu, April 1
Efforts are afoot to get passports issued to militants, especially foreign mercenaries, so that they have no problem in making Kashmir their second home. Government functionaries revealed that pro-Pak agencies were trying to motivate the authorities concerned in the passport office, the police and the CID to issue passports to militants under coded names.

These officials have been promised heavy sums of money for issuance of passports. One Central security agency detected four such cases in recent months. One foreign mercenary, Abu Tala, who has been killed in an encounter with the security forces, had been in possession of a passport issued by the Passport office in Srinagar. He had also secured three more passports, one in the name of his girl friend, whom he had planned to marry in Pakistan, her mother and another militant.

Investigations had revealed that Abu Tala had spent Rs 30,000 for getting one passport for himself. The security agency had sent a communication to the Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir Range, informing him about the nexus between rebels and some officials in the police, CID and the passport office. The officials concerned in the police and CID have been wooed because they verify the cases and confirm their bona fides.

One officer of the Passport Department said that “We are nowhere in the picture. Once we receive verification report from the police and the CID, we are supposed to issue the passports. We have no separate channel to carry out further verification of the applicants.”

The race for securing passports and visas has become imperative for a large section of the people in the valley and other parts of the state whose wards have crossed over to Pakistan and occupied Kashmir for arms training. During the past several years, these teenagers, have not returned to Kashmir for fear of being eliminated either on the LoC or within the state by the security forces. Hence they have settled in several areas across the border.

Government sources said that some of these boys had been engaged in arms training camps where they impart training to fresh recruits and acquaint foreign mercenaries with the topography of the state with emphasis on information regarding vital government and defence installations and on pro-India political activists in Jammu and Kashmir

Their parents have been in dire need of passports and many of them have travelled to Pakistan on valid travel documents which had enabled them to meet their estranged wards.

In addition to this, passports were being procured to legalise the stay of some Pakistani nationals who have recently infiltrated into the valley for indoctrinating local youths to join the ongoing Jehad. Sleuths of one Central security agency have identified seven Pak Maulvis who have infiltrated into Kashmir in recent months and have been ‘installed’ in some mosques as preachers. These Maulvis, according to Government functionaries, have been assigned the task of preparing Kashmiri youths for joining the ongoing armed campaign.

The functionaries said that besides the Pakistan Government, other agencies operating in occupied Kashmir have expressed concern over the increase in the rate of killing of foreign mercenaries in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir during the past six months.

Messages intercepted by the security agencies have revealed that agencies across the border have directed leaders of four top rebel outfits to concentrate on recruiting local boys for arms training. They have asked leaders to motivate Kashmiri youths to join the ongoing struggle because the “Movement in Kashmir is for Kashmiris.”

The Pakistani agencies have not relished the way the entire armed struggle was being managed and run by foreign mercenaries. They want bigger involvement of local people so that the impression that non-Kashmiris were running the anti-India armed campaign in Jammu and Kashmir did not gain ground.

It is in this connection that the militants have stepped up elimination of Special Police Officers (SPOs), renegade militants and police informers so that rebels had manpower available for fresh recruitment. So far, more than 18,000 youths have been appointed as SPOs and more than 4,000 militants, who had surrendered after bidding farewell to the gun, had been rehabilitated. Even Kashmiri women have opted for jobs in the police.

Various rebel groups, including the Hizbul Mujahideen, have warned Kashmiri girls of dire consequences if they accepted jobs in the police. They want the womenfolk also to join the Jehad and work at least as ‘couriers’ for them.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |