SRINAGAR: The State Investigation Agency (SIA) has filed chargesheet against three Hizb-Ul-Mujahideen terrorists – Asif Shabir Naik a resident of Kashtigarh in Doda, his father Shabir Hussain Naik @ Khalid Shabir son of Ghulam Muhammad Naik currently operating from Pakistan and Safdar Hussain @ Ehsan of village Marmat of Doda who too is based in Pakistan.
As per a statement, the investigating agency submitted the chargesheet against the three accused before the TADA/POTA/NIA Special Court in Jammu.
“The investigation started on 7 November 2021 and conducted over last about six months assumes importance in the context of the government’s strategy to identify J&K residents who are hiding in Pakistan and coordinating terrorist and secessionist activities behind the scene from across the border,” said a statement.
Asif Shabir Naik was intercepted in Srinagar Airport while trying to escape back to Pakistan on the basis of intelligence inputs that he had been visiting Pakistan posing that he’s a student studying there. But he has actually been visiting terrorist and separatist training facilities, suggested the intelligence input, said the statement.
“While Asif Shabir Naik arrested in the instant case is in Judicial custody, the other two accused especially the mastermind Shabir Hussain Naik and his associate Safdar Hussain hiding in Pakistan have been Challaned U/S 299 CrPC as Absconders,” the statement added.
“Painstakingly conducted investigation has resulted in unearthing of a story of a father who escaped to Pakistan illegally and climbed the ladder of seniority in the Hizbul Mujahideen led by Syed Sallauddin and came to be the media advisor looking after the propaganda cell of the terror outfit,” it said.
The statement added: “Registered at Police Station JIC Jammu, the investigation revealed how Pakistani agencies have been brazenly and egregiously misusing not only the travel between the two countries on the basis of valid travel documents but also the Indian students going to Pakistan for higher studies,”
“In this case, the terrorist outfit HM with the blessings of Pakistani agencies gave the cover of studentship to Asif but used his stay in Pakistan to meet his father a senior HM figure and also undergo training in sabotage and subversion. The forensics of the phone devices of Asif showed that he had videographed army installations along the Baramulla Srinagar road. He had also photographed the access road to the airport and security features adjacent to it,” reads the statement.
While the visa on Asif’s passport showed that he’s a visitor, immigration records indicated he was a student. Interrogation of Asif in the context of digital evidence revealed that Pakistan had arranged his admission in International Islamic university in Islamabad in a mass communication programme as cover and simultaneously facilitated his internship in the media cell of HM run by his father. Investigation revealed that Asif had completely concealed that his father was in Pakistan and a senior figure in HM and close to the leader Syed Sallauddin. He had falsely mentioned that he was visiting Pakistan to meet a relative,” the statement added.
The objective of Asif’s admission, as a student in a mass media course in Pakistan is suspected and he was to return to India as a respected journalist and clandestinely get embedded in the system and receive instructions from across in planning, coordinating and executing not only propaganda operations but separatist and even violent terrorist actions. But for the videos in his cell phone the latter part of the adversary agenda would not have surfaced, the statement added.
As per the statement, it is pertinent to mention here that the accused Asif Shabir Naik stayed in Pakistan for almost 3 years along with Shabir Hussian Naik and Safdar Hussain in HM camps. Moreover, the major part of the investigation pertains to the territory of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Even when its is comprehended that Pakistan authorities would not cooperate in assisting this legally mandated investigation, it was thought prudent and legally warranted to use the tool of LETTER ROGATORY and request the Pakistani court of law through the laid down channel seeking information of the activities of the accused Asif Shabir Naik while in Pakistan.
Similar Letter Rogatory related request have been initiated pertaining to the Shabir Hussain Naik and Safdar Hussain hiding in Pakistan . Endeavours are being made to get some more evidences and the investigation in this regard shall continue, the statement reads.