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Posted at: May 21, 2017, 12:39 AM; last updated: May 21, 2017, 12:39 AM (IST)

Sting operation: Geelani suspends Nayeem Khan’s National Front

‘Tapes doctored’

  • Nayeem Khan was caught in a sting operation telecast by a New Delhi-based news channel in which he was seen accepting and detailing the money trail stemming from Pakistan to fuel unrest in the Valley
  • He was also seen acknowledging that he was behind the burning of 35 schools during the unrest last year
  • Nayeem claimed the tapes were doctored and alleged that the motive behind the tapes was to “defame the Kashmir struggle”
Sting operation: Geelani suspends Nayeem Khan’s National Front
Jammu and Kashmir National Front chairman Nayeem Khan addresses mediapersons in Srinagar on Saturday. Tribune Photo

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, May 20

Syed Ali Geelani, the chairman of separatist amalgam All Parties Hurriyat Conference, today suspended the membership of one of its constituent party, National Front, whose leader Nayeem Khan has been at the centre of a sting operation in which he accepts burning schools during last year’s unrest.

In a statement, the separatist amalgam said Geelani suspended the National Front from the basic membership of the Hurriyat conference.

“The suspension will come into force with immediate effect,” the separatist amalgam said. “We summoned all constituent members, including Nayeem Ahmad Khan, to facilitate him to keep his viewpoint before the executive body, however police authorities did not allow leaders to hold a meeting,” it said.

The Hurriyat conference had called a high-level meeting of its constituents today to discuss the sting operation that had stunned the separatist camp. The meeting was, however, not allowed by the police.

Nayeem Khan was caught in a sting operation telecast by a New Delhi-based news channel in which he was seen accepting and detailing the money trail stemming from Pakistan to fuel unrest in the Valley. He was also seen acknowledging that he was behind the burning of 35 schools during the unrest last year.

The sting operation has come as a shock to the separatist camp as three of its leaders, including Nayeem Khan, are seen discussing large sums of money and burning of schools, which the separatists at that time had said was done by people “who cannot be well-wishers of society.” The highly controversial conversation had put further strain on the separatists, who were already facing an existential crisis after facing a challenge from a radical militant commander who has questioned their intent.

The National Front leader today addressed reporters here and claimed the tapes were doctored and alleged that the motive behind the tapes was to “defame the Kashmir struggle”. “The video has been run in bits and pieces and everything taken out of context,” he said.

Nayeem Khan had joined Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference, along with two other leaders, in 2015 and was subsequently given a top position within the amalgam as Geelani made him the provincial president of the Jammu region.

Even as Geelani suspended membership of Nayeem’s National Front, the statement did not clarify the separatist leader’s position on his own party leader, Gazi Javed Baba, who had also featured in the sting operation.

Geelani defended the separatist movement and described it as “righteous”. He also said New Delhi-based media was “biased and not trustworthy”. Geelani said the unrest of 2016 was not “pre-planned and nor instigated by Pakistan.” The National Front leader today addressed reporters here and claimed the tapes were doctored and alleged that the motive behind the tapes was to “defame the Kashmir struggle”. “The video has been run in bits and pieces and everything taken out of context,” he said.

Nayeem Khan had joined the Hurriyat , along with two other leaders in 2015 and was made the provincial president of the Jammu region.

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