SIA files chargesheet against Hurriyat leader, 8 others for selling MBBS seats

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The Jammu and Kashmir special investigation agency (SIA) on Thursday filed its first chargesheet in the MBBS seats selling racket.

The SIA filed the chargesheet against nine persons including the chairman of the Salvation Movement, Zaffar Akbar Bhat, in a case related to ‘selling’ of MBBS seats in Pakistan to Kashmiri students.

The charge sheet was filed before the Special Judge designated Court at Srinagar under the NIA Act.

Besides Mohammad Akbar Bhat alias Zaffar Akbar Bhat of Usmania Colony, Bagh-e-Mehtab in Srinagar, the chargesheet has been filed against eight other persons.

A statement issued by the SIA said, “Police station Counter Intelligence Kashmir on receipt of information through reliable sources that several unscrupulous persons including some Hurriyat leaders were hand in glove with some educational consultancies and were selling Pakistan based MBBS seats and seats in other professional courses in various colleges and universities, registered the case in July 2020.”

“The information on the basis of which criminal investigations were started into the matter also suggested that the money collected from the parents of the aspiring or potential students was used, at least partly, to support and fund (militancy) and separatism in different ways”.

The SIA said that during the investigation oral, documentary and technical evidence was collected. Upon its analysis it surfaced that MBBS and other professional degree related seats were preferentially given to those students who are close family members or relatives of killed militants.

“Evidence also came on record to show that money had been variously put into channels that ended up in supporting programmes and projects pertaining to (militancy) and separatism.”

“For example, money collected in disguise of providing medical and other technical courses in various institutions of Pakistan were used to fuel up the unrest post elimination of (militants) including Burhan Wani in 2016 and every effort was made to disturb the peace and tranquility post abrogation of Article 35A and 370 of Indian Constitution”.

 

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The SIA claimed that the examination of witnesses corroborated by other circumstantial evidence indicated that many families approached Hurriyat leaders to avail the programme of the Hurriyat at the behest of the ISI that aimed at incentivising militancy by compensating the family of slain militants by providing free MBBS and engineering seats.

“By incentivizing the next of kin of killed militants for the (militancy) and related activities of their killed militant relatives, Pakistan is trying to keep the pot boiling and tends to radicalize the impressionable minds in the veil of technical education.

“As per investigation, on an average the cost of a seat ranged between Rs 10 to Rs 12 lakhs and depending upon the political heft of a Hurriyat leader who intervened, concessions were extended to the aspiring student and his family.”

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

“Historical bonhomie between Hurriyat leaders and their masters in Pakistan has been again exposed through the investigations and has exposed their nefarious designs once more of being hand in glove with the (militants) based in Kashmir valley and Pakistan and the undercurrents of their close knit relationship is only to destabilize the UT of J&K and Union of India,” the SIA statement said.

Four persons, Mohammad Akbar Bhat, Fatima Shah, Mohammad Abdullah Shah and Sabzar Ahmad Sheikh, have been arrested for being a part of the supply chain at one stage or the other.

“The investigation with regard to the other aspects of the investigation/suspects (co-conspirators) is in progress and the facts will be presented in the Court through a supplementary chargesheet”, the statement added.

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