The Special Investigation Agency (SIA), a unit carved out of Jammu and Kashmir Police, has filed a chargesheet against three persons, including an Indian student enrolled in a Pakistani university and his father, for indulging in terror activities and passing across the border information about army units.
Officials said this was another example of Pakistan misusing higher studies as bait for recruitment in terror groups.
Already, 17 youths who had gone to Pakistan for studies, have been killed at the Line of Control while infiltrating into Kashmir, or during security forces’ encounters with terror outfits, they said.
The chargesheet was filed against student Asif Shabir Naik, a resident of Kashtigarh in Doda, his father Shabir Hussain Naik, and Safdar Hussain (the latter two currently in Pakistan) under various sections of the anti-terror law, officials said.
The SIA has also invoked the legal tool of Letters Rogatory, wherein the Pakistani court of law would be approached through the competent Indian court seeking Pakistan’s assistance in providing information about the charge-sheeted individuals.
“Even if the prospects of a positive response are bleak, the SIA would not leave a single legal stone unturned,” said a senior officer of the agency.
Asif Shabir Naik was given cover as a student of the International Islamic University in Islamabad in a mass communications programme, but actually, he was working in the media cell of the banned terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, the officials said.
He was intercepted at the Srinagar airport based on intelligence inputs that he had been visiting Pakistan posing as a student. However, according to the officials, he had been visiting terrorist and separatist training facilities.
The case has shown how Pakistani agencies have been brazenly misusing not only the travel between the two countries based on valid travel documents but also the Indian students going to Pakistan for higher studies, the officials said.
Investigations show that the terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen gave the cover of studentship to Naik but used his stay in Pakistan to meet his father, who heads the media wing of the banned terror outfit, besides providing him training in sabotage and subversion, they said.
His phone’s forensic examinations showed he had video-graphed army installations along the Baramulla-Srinagar Road. He had also photographed the access road to the airport and security features adjacent to it, the officials said.
Naik was issued a visitor’s visa, but immigration records indicated he was a student, they said.
While Naik has been arrested in the case and is currently in judicial custody, the two other accused — alleged mastermind Shabir Hussain Naik and his associate Safdar Hussain — are hiding in Pakistan and have been chargesheeted as absconders, the officials said.