By Our Special Correspondent
Srinagar, April 10(KMW): Former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti is likely to face a prolonged jail term, according to well-placed sources.
Sources say a voluminous dossier has been prepared against Mehbooba by India’s premier investigative agency who, sources claim, have collected irrefutable proofs of anti-state activities, including money laundering and corruption, against her.
Former PDP youth president and one of Mehbooba’s close confidantes Waheed Parra is said to have spilled the beans and led the agencies to multiple trails that show Mehbooba Mufti’s involvement. Parra is said to have guided the investigators to various money trails involving Mehbooba Mufti. During interrogation, agencies have also discovered a staggering amount of money stashed away with some prominent local businessmen by the top PDP leadership just before the BJP pulled out of the coalition government in 2018. Some of the charges, sources reveal, are of very sensitive nature and can mean a lot of trouble for Mehbooba and some top PDP leaders.
Parra who is in NIA custody has been charge-sheeted by the agency. The agency has accused him of being involved with Hizbul Mijahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba militant outfits. The investigative agency has also accused him of paying senior leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Shah alias Funtoosh Rs five crore to keep Kashmir on boil after Hizb commander Burhan Wani’s death. Pertinently, Kashmir remained under a strict shutdown and curfew for many months after Wani’s death when Mehbooba was the chief minister of the state leading the PDP-BJP coalition government.
Mehbooba was put under a prolonged house arrest along with many other mainstream leaders including the father-son duo of Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, both former chief ministers, days before the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 A.
Mehbooba’s close confidante and former minister Naeem Akhtar too is likely to be sent to jail for a prolonged duration this time with relevant sections of the law slapped on him as his name too is said to have surfaced several times during the investigation. Akhtar is currently lodged in Srinagar’s MLA hostel which was converted into a sub jail as the build up to the August 5 move of striking down the quasi-autonomy of the state.
Post-August 5, many of its former members, including ministers and legislators, have left PDP. They have either joined other political parties like Altaf Bukhari’s newly formed Apni Party, Sajjad Lone’s People’s Conference or BJP. With Mehbooba’s potential arrest, the chances of PDP surviving are pretty bleak.
A top PDP leader, preferring to be anonymous, revealed to Kashmir Media Watch that the party is ready to strike a deal with New Delhi to get some respite despite Mehbooba’s apparently stiff stance. The BJP leadership, however, is unwilling to relent, he said.