Two so-called journalists in Kashmir are likely to be quizzed by J&K Police for terror links. According to sources the duo has direct links with notorious blogger Sajad Gul who runs the infamous terror blog Kashmirfight@wordpress.com.
This leads one to ask: Why is it that militant groups in Kashmir are always seeking and building assets in the media?
It is because some local journalists have assiduously built the international narrative that media persons in Kashmir are supposed to be regarded as holy cows. They have manufactured the spin that Kashmir media is supposedly beyond reproach. Any action by the state against terror modules in the Kashmir media is painted as an attack on the freedom of the press and decried internationally. Politicians like Mehbooba Mufti shoot off letters to the Press Council of India crying hoarse that the freedom of the press is being trampled. Will Mufti and others revisit their doctrine after details emerge that some so-called journos in Kashmir form links in the terror blog Kashmirfight@wordpress.com.
Showkat Ahmad Motta, son of Abdul Samaf Motta, is a resident of Channapora, Srinagar. He has worked with Greater Kashmir, Kashmir Reader and was Editor in Chief of the magazine Kashmir Narrator.
Ongoing police investigation into the operation of the terror blog has revealed that Showkat Motta was in contact with Sajjad Gul, a fugitive. Gul has emerged as the de facto operational controller of all operations of militant group The Resistance Front (TRF) in Jammu and Kashmir. TRF, an off-shoot of LET, has admitted to several killings including innocent civilians, steeply intensifying fear in the Valley. Those killed by TRF include political activists, police officers, poor outsiders who had come to Kashmir to eke out a living and members of Kashmiri minority communities. According to sources, 47-year-old Sajjad Gul is a resident of Lane Number 2, Rose Avenue colony, HMT, Shalteng in Srinagar. He escaped to Pakistan in 2017 and has become the main Kashmiri strategist in the board room of Lashkar e Taiba (LeT), which is otherwise dominated by Pakistanis. Sources reveal that Sajjad’s position in the terror hierarchy within LeT has been upgraded by superseding Mohd Amin alias Khubaib, a terrorist commander from Phagsoo of Doda. Amin has represented LeT in the Unified Jehad Council in Pakistan for more than 12 years.
Showkat Connected to Many Terror Operators
Through Interpol channels, JK Police has collected digital evidence to unimpeachably establish that Showkat Motta was in communication with Sajjad Gul. Based on the evidence, police got the permission from the competent authority for the house search of Shaukat Motta. The search was conducted at Showkat’s house on 8 September 2021. Among other items, a few electronic devices were also seized. His arrest was deferred at that time since the nature and level of association between Sajjad Gul and Showkat Motta was to be ascertainment. Shaukat is likely to be quizzed again for his terror links.
The devices were sent to the cyber forensics division of FSL. The results of the forensic analysis, mostly phone data, have now become available. The digital evidence has further corroborated Showkat’s connection with Sajad Gul beyond doubt. It has now emerged that Showkat was communicating not only with Sajjad Gul but also with Fahadullah, another known dreaded LET operative. Evidence also suggests that he is in contact with Abdul Mateen Sheikh and Dr Israr Ahmed (Tanzeem-e- Islami), whose activities have been linked with ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Indian subcontinent. The phone data seized from Showat has established several communication details spreading over Pakistan, Middle East, Afghanistan, Russia and a few in Europe.
Azhar Qadri is the son of Farooq Ahmad and a resident of Sir Syed Abad, Srinagar. He contributes to The Tribune and is associated with the weekly magazine Kashmir Walla. Qadri was in communication with Sajjad Gul. His house too was searched under a court-approved search warrant on September 8. The forensics analysis of the seized digital devices, especially his phone data, has revealed the following.
- An original article which was published on the Kashmirfight blog is saved in his phone. Date and time stamps are being correlated to establish whether he was a content creator, a terrorist intimidation proliferator or both
- He was found to be in possession of all posters of TRF, Kashmirfight, militant group United Liberation Front (ULF) and also some other militant groups
- Qadri is a member of Telegram groups which disseminate propagandist materials and terrorist related information
- Documents like44 Ways To Support Jihad, the Mujahideen Explosives book, the Kufr Of Becoming A Police Officer and magazines of Ghazwa-e-Hind were found in his phone.
Two months ago, JK Police had issued a press release on the subject, stating the following:
A police spokesman said here that during the course of investigation of the case (FIR No. 82/2020 of Police Station Kothibagh), credible evidence was found which linked the four journalists with the mastermind who is behind the blog email@example.com.
Police said Mir Hilal, son of Ghulam Ahmed Mir, resident of Bemina (Journalist- TRT World), Mohammad Shah Abbas, son of Abdul Khaliq Shah, resident of Yaripora, Anantnag, presently putting up at Rajbagh (freelance journalist); Azhar Qadri, son of Farooq Ahmed, resident of Bemina (Journalist with The Tribune) and Showkat Motta, son of Abdul Samad Motta, resident of Lalbazar (Editor-in-chief of The Narrator & currently working at a wholesale shop), have links with the mastermind of the blog.
Expect a furore to be launched by some sections of the Kashmir media that this is a new low and yet another attack on the “freedom of the press” in Kashmir. Mehbooba Mufti will perhaps send out tweets that the state is intimidating the media in Kashmir. The message sent out by this clique is that nobody who has supposedly donned the mantle of a journalist should be held accountable for activities which jeopardize state security and jeopardize the life of those who are opposed to support Kashmir’s terror ecosystem and even innocent civilians in the Valley.