The Bold Voice of J&K

15,000 foreigners got J&K citizenship between 1990 and 1998 with lakhs and lakhs of rupees

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Prof Hari Om

Jammu, the ISI target

Things in Jammu were deteriorating and fast appeared to be going the Kashmir way. The fundamental factor: Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) saboteurs, after wrecking the administration in the Valley and disrupting its political and economic institutions, had turned its attention to what is also known as the City of Temples, Jammu. A UNI report of January 31, 1995, quoting defence sources, said that the “ISI” had declared “1995 to be the year of the Jammu region” and that it had “with the help of the drug mafia in Pakistan, earmarked Rs 50 crore for creating disturbances and acts of sabotage in the Jammu region.” It also said that “a message intercepted from the ISI to the Hizbul Mujahideen stated that Rs 5 crore has been placed at the service the suicide squads to eliminate the Director General of Police, M. N. Sabharwal, and Advisor to the Governor (Home), Lt General M. A. Zaki” and others.
Indeed, the situation had worsened to the extent that the militants were roaming freely in and around Jammu without bothering to conceal their identity. So much so, they were openly organising meetings in certain religious places situated right in the heart of Jammu city, indulging in dangerous and insidious propaganda there and appealing to and exciting individual hopes. They were doing so with a view to soliciting the people’s support in favour of what they called “the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.”
It is pertinent to mention here that militants and their Pakistani sponsors had put Jammu on the top of their agenda since March 1994, when two highly significant developments took place at the Geneva UN Human Rights Commission Conference. One was the withdrawal by Islamabad of the resolution on the alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) owing to the effective diplomacy of the Indian Foreign Office and other Indian leaders. The other was the role of the representatives of the European Union and certain non-government organisations like the Panun Kashmir and the Friends of Kashmir. They debunked the Pakistani no-holds-barred propaganda blitz that the entire population of the state wanted to break its connection with the “aggressor India” and proved with statistics that the secessionist violence in the state was confined to four towns in Doda district of Jammu region, and that all the troubles in Kashmir were the handiwork of a few Kashmiris.
Ever since the Geneva debacle, the ISI and the Kashmiri militants had been seeking to establish their foothold in the vicinity of Jammu city and strengthen the network in the city itself set up earlier and provoke a communal clash through terrorism which could lead to a possible divide between the people of the two communities. The ongoing demographic invasion assumed alarming proportion after October 9, 1996, when Farooq Abdullah took over as J&K Chief Minister for the third time.

BJP’s Memorandum; Enough Is Enough

On March 29, 1999, top J&K BJP leaders, including the party president Daya Kishan Kotwal, Chaman Lal Gupta (MP), Bhagwat Saroop (General secretary, organisation) and Ashok Khajuria, Bali Bhagat, Prem Lal, Piara Singh, Hans Raj Dogra (all MLAs), met Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Home Minister L. K. Advani in New Delhi and discussed with them the prevailing situation in the state in general and Jammu province in particular. They warned that “Jammu could go the Kashmir way if immediate steps were not taken to restructure the state’s political system in such a way that empowers the people of Jammu to decide their own aspirations.”
As a matter of fact, the state BJP leadership submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister which, inter-alia, said: “Concerted efforts are being made by the NC Government to change the demography of Jammu as thousands of Kashmiri Muslims from the Valley have constructed their houses in and around Jammu City. This construction is going on non-stop with the active connivance of State Government. Almost all the NC ministers have raised their bungalows. Even the Chief Minister (Farooq Abdullah) has constructed a massive bungalow after encroaching 19 kanals forest land…”
The memorandum further read: “Jammu has always worked as our battle-front against onslaught of anti-India forces active in the Valley or across the border. More than 50 years have elapsed since the beginning of this struggle. Our two generations have sacrificed their legitimate interests to keep the Indian Flag hoisting in whole of Jammu and Kashmir. Now, Jammu is being sand-witched between Pak-abetted militancy and worst type of exploitation by the NC leadership.”
“Saying enough is enough”, the memorandum said, and added that “the people of Jammu are slowly loosing vigour to fight against anti-national forces.” “Now is the time to hold them. And, only BJP has the understanding, will and the required power to do so,” it also said.

NC’s Sharp Reaction

The BJP memorandum evoked very sharp reaction from the NC Government. Farooq Abdullah fielded all the eight Jammu-based NC ministers and the Jammu-based office-bearers of the NC against the BJP. They termed the BJP’s memorandum as a document of “communalism”. Condemning in downright language the BJP and its memorandum, these NC ministers and party office-bearers accused the BJP of “engineering dissensions on communal lines in Jammu and warned that their (BJP’s) campaign on communal lines would only strengthen the hands of anti-national and communal force in the state.”
Referring to the BJP’s statement on the change in the demographic character of Jammu, the NC ministers and other party leaders from Jammu said:
“The people of Jammu had exhibited remarkable political maturity, amity and tolerance and gave shelter to thousands of victims of Pakistan-abetted militancy (terrorism) in all these years. While giving shelter to migrants, nobody raised even an eye-brow about the religious faith or the caste of the migrants. But the BJP is questioning the right of the state subjects to buy property anywhere in the state (overlooking the fact) that there is no legal or constitutional bar on this right.”

DGP Gurbachan Jagat’s Startling Revelations

Exactly a month later (on April 29), the then J&K Director General of Police (DGP), Gurbachan Jagat, publicly said that the ISI was changing the demographic character of Jammu. Speaking at a function organised by the J&K Institute of Public Opinion on “The state of militancy and the role of J&K police in tackling it”, the DGP, among other things, said: “Militants executed heinous massacres of Hindus in (Jammu’s) Poonch, Rajouri, Budhal, Mahore, Prankot and other higher reaches just to force migration of the Hindus from these areas…As the enemy failed to execute migration of Hindus despite repeated massacres, the ISI with the help of its agents has started purchasing land from Hindus of these areas to change demographic character of the entire Pir Panjal (mountain) range…To accomplish its new game plan ISI has pumped lot of money through fake and genuine currency and asked its agents to purchase land from minority (Hindu) community at any cost. The entire Pir Panjal range of Sunderbani, Nowshera, Poonch, Rajouri, Budhal and Mahore (in Jammu province) is strategically important as it connect with Anantnag district of Kashmir and secondly, due to its geographical condition, it is easy point of infiltration…
Police have detected such game plan at Nowshera sector where an ISI agent on the direction of its mentor from across the border has purchased land from Hindus at very high prices…The police with the help of locals of the region was making every possible effort to frustrate new game plan of the ISI.”

State Subject Certificates to 15,000 Foreign Nationals

Three days later (on April 1), a report from New Delhi said: “Hundreds of foreign nationals are reported to have manipulated to acquire citizenship rights in Jammu and Kashmir between 1990 and 1998. ‘Impossible has been converted into possible, with the grant of State Subject Certificates to them as lakhs and lakhs of rupees changed hands’…Most interesting aspect of the research work is that as many as nine police and revenue officials in one district in Jammu and Kashmir, who had, according to one report, received huge sums of money from financially rich non-Indians in the course of preparing the ground for their classification as bona fide residents of Jammu and Kashmir, were offered encouraging amounts of money for doling out information to intelligence sleuths on how and when the illegal act was commissioned, namely, grant of State Subject Certificates to outsiders…The team of intelligence sleuths also consisted of two Kashmiri Muslim functionaries of the Jammu and Kashmir administration. And their identity would not be disclosed for obvious reasons. The team’s survey, conducted in the Kashmir Valley and in the three districts – Doda, Poonch and Rajouri – in Jammu region, has hinted at the involvement of dozens of local government officials, particularly from the police and revenue departments, in addition to scores of prominent ‘political activists and legislators’, in the ‘clandestine, lucrative trade’ of arranging State Subject Certificates for ‘an estimated number of 15,000 people from across the border between 1990 and 1998’…’Huge sums of money from across the border’, the document says, ‘changed hands while making possible the impossible’. At least 20 functionaries of the Jammu and Kashmir administration from four sensitive districts – Baramulla and Kupwara in Kashmir and Poonch and Rajouri districts in Jammu region – have become fabulously rich by being the quiet recipients of equally quiet flow of money into their hands’ in the course of arranging State Subject Certificates for foreign nationals…”

Snubbing Jammu’s Prominent Citizens

Earlier on September 7, 1997, Farooq Abdullah snubbed prominent citizens of Jammu when they raised the issue of demographic changes. A report in this regard read: “Addressing a meeting of prominent citizens here (Jammu) today, Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah ‘categorically’ denied that there was any attempt to change demographic character of Jammu City. Reacting on the issue, he said that the state government will not spare anyone trying to change the demographic position. This is a propaganda (unleashed) to create wedge between people on communal lines” (State Times, Jammu, Sep 8, 1999).
Needed: A High Level NIA Probe
What does all this suggest? The above-stated facts and revelations are self-revealing. Everything is self-explanatory. Hence, no further elucidation is required. The Ministry of Home Affairs and the LG Manoj Sinha’s administration would do well to order a high level NIA probe into the whole issue so that the black sheep are identified and a moral effect is produced.

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