Counter Terrorism

Pakistan MBBS Seats Sold By Separatists To Kashmiri Students: SIA chargesheet

| Updated : December 31, 2021, 3:38 pm
Updated : December 31, 2021, 3:38 pm


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SRINAGAR: The Special Investigating Agency (SIA) in Kashmir has arrested five separatists among nine people for allegedly “selling” admissions to Kashmiri students for MBBS degree courses in colleges of Pakistan, in what may lead to spotlight on clandestine network used to funnel terror activities by incitement of youth in the Valley.

A part of the massive payoffs was used to fund separatism and terrorism in Kashmir, the investigation has found.

File Photo: Altaf Bhat, who is accused of selling Kashmiri students MBBS seats in Pakistan
The chargesheet has been filed by SIA, that was earlier known as Counter Intelligence Kashmir (CIK), a branch of the police’s CID , against Mohammad Akbar Bhat of Usmania Colony Baghi-Mehtab; Fatima Shah of Bemina, Srinagar; Altaf Ahmad Bhat presently in Pakistan; Qazi Yasir of Qazi Mohalla, Anantnag; Mohammad Abdullah Shah of Kulpora Salkoot Kupwara; Sabzar Ahmad Sheikh of Shangus Anantnag; Manzoor Ahmad Shah of Kupwara but currently in Pakistan and Mohd. Iqbal Mir of Cheeni Chowk Anantnag.

Manzoor Shah, who is accused of selling MBBS seats in Pakistan to Kashmiri students.

According to investigation, average cost of a seat ranged between Rs.10 to 12 lakhs. Depending upon the political heft of a Hurriyat leader who intervenes, some concessions were extended to aspiring students.

On the basis of available evidence, a conservative estimate indicated that the money involved could be around  Rs 4 crore annually. The allocation of seats for distribution by individual Hurriyat leaders were around 40 seats for MBBS programme every year.

The SIA produced the chargesheet in the “MBBS seat selling racket” before the court of special judge designated court under the NIA Act Srinagar.

Raised on the lines of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the SIA is seen as an important arm with the administration of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, for such critical cases.

Mohammad Akbar Bhat, Fatima Shah, Mohammad Abdullah Shah, Sabzar Ahmad Sheikh and Mohd Iqbal Mir have been arrested, produced before the court and sent to to Central Jail, Srinagar.

Altaf Ahmad Bhat, Qazi Yasir and Manzoor Ahmad Bhat are absconding and  evading their arrest. The investigation into the case and other co-conspirators is in progress.

The police station Counter Intelligence Kashmir had registered a case against these nine people in July 2020 after receiving credible information that several unscrupulous persons including some Hurriyat members were hand in glove with some educational consultancies and were “selling” admission to Kashmiri students in Pakistan based medical colleges and various other colleges and universities.

SIA said the information on the basis of which criminal investigations were initiated into the matter also suggested that the money collected from the parents of the aspiring or potential students in Kashmir was used, at least partly, to support and fund terrorism and separatism in different ways.

Oral, documentary and technical evidences were collected in process, the SIA said. After analysis of the collected evidence, it emerged that MBBS and other professional degree related seats were preferentially given to those students who are close family members or relatives of the terrorists killed in Kashmir. Evidence also showed that the money had been variously put into channels that ended up supporting programmes and projects pertaining to terrorism and separatism, the statement said.

For example, money collected in the guise of providing medical and other technical courses in various institutions of Pakistan was used to fuel up the unrest following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani  in 2016. Some of it was also used to make attempts to disturb the peace and tranquillity post-abrogation of article 35A and 370 of the Indian Constitution.

The Examination of witnesses corroborated by other circumstantial evidence indicated that many families approached Hurriyat leaders to avail the programme of Hurriyat on the behest of the ISI. The Pakistani intelligence agency aimed at incentivising terrorism by compensating the family of slain terrorists by way of providing free of cost MBBS and engineering seats as monetary consideration, the statement said.

By incentivizing the next of kin of the killed terrorists, Pakistan is trying to keep the pot boiling and aiming to radicalize the impressionable minds in the guise of technical education, the SIA.

The historical nexus between Hurriyat leaders and their handlers in Pakistan has been again exposed through this investigation. The case has exposed their nefarious designs to connive with the terrorists based in Kashmir valley and Pakistan, the statement said. The SIA said such conspiracies are orchestrated by Hurriyat and Pakistan’s ISI together to destabilize the UT of J&K and Union of India.

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