SRINAGAR: A six-member team will investigate the police officer who was arrested on Thursday, reports appearing in the media suggest. Sheikh Aadil, who was a social media craze at one point in time, has been booked for a series of allegations involving corruption, and helping the subversives involved in a case of money laundering. A nearly 4000-word First Information Report (FIR) has given bit-by-bit details of the activities that eventually led to his formal arrest.
“It is submitted that some disturbing evidence has come from the disclosure of the Muzamil Zahoor and corroborated by the expert opinion of CERT- IN, which apparently seems to be highly sensitive and requires to be handled with care and caution,” a police report reads. A 5-member police team is investigating the case after Adil was formally arrested in FIR 149/2023 u/S 7, 7A of Prevention of Corruption Act and Sections 167, 193, 201, 210, 218, 221 of IPC registered at Nowgam Police Station. He was suspended in March 2023 when his role was established while investigating the terror funding case.
The story, according to a document started on February 7, 2023, when a naka part of Police Station Nowgam led by SI Javid Ahmad Wani arrested a trio at Lasjan. They had been “intercepted tactfully” and were later identified as Umar Adil Dar (Soiteng), Bilal Ahmad Sidiqi (Kursoo, Rajbagh) and Salik Mehraj (Soiteng). The recoveries included Rs 31, 65, 200 cash, a cell phone and three pages pertaining to banned militant outfit Lashkar-eToiba. The trio offered no plausible explanation for the recoveries.
They eventually admitted having received the funds for funding LeT cadres in Srinagar on the directions of their Pakistani handlers. It led to registration of FIR No 20/2023 U/S 120 B, 121, 121 A-IPC, 13,18,39, 40 ULA (P) Act of Police Station Nowgam and investigation was entrusted to the then Dy SP Sheikh Adil Mushtaq.
Their phones were sent for forensic analysis on March 2. During the investigation, Umar Adil Dar disclosed on February 9, that he was earlier working with Hurriyat (G) and is being handled by Pakistani handler Col Yasir and one Aijaz Rehmani, a Kashmir origin person living in Pakistan. On instructions of Rehmani, he said he received an amount of 25 lacs from an unknown person at Wanpoh filling station, Kulgam, of which he gave Rs lakh each to Bilal, Zamrooda and Rs 5 lakh to Yasmin for the purpose of strengthening the LeT cadre in Srinagar.
Dar further revealed that Salik Mehraj had further received the money consignments at different occasions from unknown persons near Government Higher Secondary School and Filling Station Wanpoh. They had handled Rs 90 lakh.
On March 6, Adil Mushtaq searched the residential premises of Yasmin (from Namblabal Pampore) and Zamrooda (actually from Mehman Mohalla Anantnag presently putting up at Majid Bagh Sanatnager) and seized their mobile phones, which were later sent to FSL Srinagar for forensic examination on March 27. The ladies were subsequently indicted only under section 13 of UAPA which became the prime reason for their bail.
The police case has pointed out that the month’s delay in raiding the two homes during which the accused might have destroyed the evidences.
Adil was heading the investigations till he was relieved from Pantha Chowk on March 11, 2023. He was succeeded by Sumit Sharma who took over the investigations.
Details were collected about the bank accounts and transactions of the trio and the two women and this part of the investigation was closed on April 5. The two women were arrested on May 18, but they got the absolute bail. On July 27, the charge-sheet against the five accused.
Sleuths located two transactions of Umar Adil, amounting two five lakh rupees on January 23, 2023. The money had gone to PNB, Sopore to Sheikh Inamul Haq. The investigations established that it was a fake account. Even the photograph was fake. The photograph belonged to Muzamil Zahoor, a resident of Andergam, Pattan, who had got closer to Inamul Haq and sought documne3ts for his appointment in Infosys. Muzamil was finally arrested from Srinagar hotel on July 19.
It was investigation of Muzamil Zahoor’s telegram account by CERT-IN that showed his communication with Sheikh Adil. “The chats among the two have been effected between 07.07.2023 to 19.07.2023 (the day of arrest of Muzamil Zahoor),” the document has revealed. “Further, the CERT-IN report reveals that during the period Dy SP Sheikh Adil has actively guided Muzamil Zahoor to file a false and frivolous complaint against the Police Officers who were involved in the investigation of the case, in order to save Muzamil Zahoor from the rigor of law and also to create a manipulative cover in hiding the criminal complicity of DY SP Sheikh Adil for his wrongdoings that have surfaced during the investigation.”
During investigations, Muzamil admitted his association with Umer Adil Dar and ameeting with Uzair Ronga. He later got Rs 5 lakh to his fake account from Dar. Later, he would get directions from Saudi based Asif Maqbool Dar. Later, he flies to Delhi on the direction of his handlers. There, he got information about the arrest of Dar and others.
On his return to Srinagar, he met Adil Mushtaq an sought the release of Dar who told him that it is UAPA case and release is difficult. (..but the officer informed that he will help them by keeping the investigation limited and demanded money for the same,” the FIR quotes Muzamil saying in presence of a magistrate. “I paid him 2.73 lakh rupees near VMS Pharma during day time besides the police officer told me to remain underground for a couple of months.” As the cops started locating Muzamil’s bank accounts, he said he got apprehensive and contacted Adil Mushtaq who advised and guided him “in drafting the contents of this frivolous complaint against SHO Nowgam on telegram chat”. The document revealed that Muzamil was guided in recording a video clip “so as to save himself, me and others”, which was sent to Adil. “Eventually the frivolous complaint was filed in the court of law in Srinagar and I was told/advised by Dy. SP. Adil Mushtaq to remain under ground for some more time till court order on that complaint comes, however, Police arrested me from Hotel Foot Hill, Sonwar Srinagar where I was hiding.”
The Jammu and Kashmir Police have constituted a team for investigations and the erstwhile police officer is in the remand. Details will come once the process completes. It eventually marks the beginning of a long battle in the court of law.