PC’s ‘Indian’ Geelani: the insider story
By Capt. S.K. Tikoo
Soon after P Chidambaram took over as the Union Home Minister, a senior Congress party leader and an ex-minister of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) state sought an appointment with him, to apprise him of the ground realities existing in the state in general and the Valley in particular. The Union Home Minister gave him a patient hearing but no sooner, this Congressman who had travelled all the way from Srinagar, talked about Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the chairman of Tehrik-i-Hurriyat, a conglomerate of many subversive, secessionist and anti-Indian outfits as the mastermind and the brain behind the anti-national and separatist agitations being held in the Valley day in and day out. The Home Minister brushed him aside by saying that Syed Ali Shah Geelani was an Indian and conveyed in no uncertain terms to this Congressman that he was no longer interested in any further talks on the subject. The meeting ended then and there. Indian and Geelani are poles apart. Here is the brief profile of this ‘Indian’:
As early as 1989, a meeting of Jamaat-e-Islami was held on August 3, in village Soi-Bug of Budgam district in Kashmir Valley, under the chairmanship of Syed Ali Shah Geelani. The meeting was held at the residence of Dr. Mohd. Sultan. Incidentally. Dr Mohd Sultan had also fought the elections as a JI (Jamaat-e-Islami) candidate to the J&K Legislative Assembly held in 1987. Those who attended the meeting included Ghulam Mohd. Mir alias Shamas-ul-Haq, Mohd. Ismail, Ashraf Dar and Maqbool Ilahi among others. All of them were senior JI leaders.
Those days, Ashraf Dar was known as founder (BAANI) militant and Maqbool Ilahi as real (ASLI) militant. Master Yousuf Shah, a fire spewing imam of a mosque and resident of the same village who had unsuccessfully fought the 1987 Assembly election as the JI candidate from Amira Kadal constituency, was conspicuous by his presence. It was SAS Geelani who proposed that the time was ripe to stage an armed struggle against India and he also promised total support of JI to this armed struggle. Ashraf Dar, the founder militant suggested ZIA Tigers as the name of the new outfit, which would carry out insurgency in the state. Immediately thereafter, hundreds (some say even thousands) of young boys were sent across to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and Pakistan to get arms training in various camps in POK and Pakistan. These camps were run by Pak army and JI Pakistan jointly. It was this ‘Indian’ Geelani who persuaded the reluctant members of the Majlis-i-Shoora of JI, to release enough funds to this new adventure and he ensured that ‘ZIA Tigers’ would never fall short of financial support to be provided by JI.
Some sudden developments like the growth of JKLF (Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front), ‘Allah Tigers’ besides ‘ZIA Tigers’ declaring some sort of autonomy shocked Geelani. His reaction was quick and sharp-he coined a new word HM (Hizb-ul-Mujahideen), borrowing the word Hizb from Arabic language which means jamaat (gathering group) and added Mujahideen to it. This new militant outfit was thus created by JI and its constitution was presented by Master Ahsan Dar, who later rose to be the supreme commander.
JI Jammu and Kashmir and JI Pakistan recognised only HM as a truly Islamic terrorist outfit and both these organisations, locally and from across the border, supported it fully. In 1991, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of master Ahsan Dar, in the house of Abdul Gani Sofi alias Shaheen, a well known JI worker, situated in village Sepdan (district Budgam) and was attended by Mohd. Yousuf Shah, Mohd. Abdullah alias commander, Ghulam Mohammed Gani known as ‘ISI Agent’, SAS Geelani. Ghulam Mohammed Mir, Waheed Sheikh and Maqbool Ilahi and a few more committed JI members. In the said meeting, Geelani ordered his (HM) ‘commanders’ to disarm all ‘commanders’ owing allegiance to rival militant groups. He even went to the extent of ordering their physical elimination if they did not agree to work under the banner of HM. This move was vehemently opposed and objected to by two senior-most JI leaders viz Ghulam Mohammed Ganai and Mohammed Abdullah ‘commander’., but Geelani the ‘Indian’ stuck to his guns and stripped Ahsan Dar of the post of ‘supreme commander’ and appointed Mohammed Yousuf Shah in his place under a new name-Syed Salah-ud-Din. Master Ahsan Dar was given the title of ‘Military Adviser’-a decorative consolation. Master Ahsaan Dar who had tremendous hold in Pattan town and its adjacent villages in Baramulla district struck back quickly. In a significant move, he issued a press release declaring HM as the ASKARI (militant) wing of JI – it was the first public declaration of JI running a terrorist outfit. Almost at the same time. Mohammed Abdullah ‘Commander’. who had walked out of HM, issued a separate press statement claiming that HM in fact was a political outfit and ‘Jamait-i-Mujahideen was its militant (ASKARI) wing. Surprisingly, these two contradictory statements issued by two stalwarts of JI were neither endorsed nor contradicted by Ji or HM. However, general public got disillusioned with the internal bickering of JI and HM and started openly helping other rival militant and terrorist outfits. JI could not take it lightly, it started co-opting and owning up, by means fair and mostly foul, other smaller terrorist outfits like ‘Allah Tigers’ ‘Tehrik-i-Jamaait-i-Islami’ etc. and continued to do so in spite of bitter opposition by Haji Ghualm Mohammed, a respected and a senior JI leader. Geelani, not used to disobedience, it is well known, got Haji Ghulam Mohemmed Shot dead soon after he came out of a mosque after having offered his evening prayers. The killing was owned by ‘Al-Hasan Commandoes’ of ‘Hazrat Ali Regiment’, a fake outfit which was never heard of again.
In 1991 itself, HM declared the creation of a political outfit and named it as Hurriyat Conference with SAS Geelani as its president. Known JI headliners like Mohammed Akbar Bhat, Zaffar-ul-Islam (Divisional Commander of HM) and Sadiq Ali, the chief confidante of Geelani, were given key posts in the Hurriyat Conference. Geelani ensured that militant ‘commanders’ and upper ground leaders from other outfits did not get important and prominent positions in the Hurriyat Conference. But the high handedness of Geelani was soon challenged by those who had been fighting the ‘holy war’ on the ground unlike Geelani who was always issuing dictates from safe havens without having ever operated, nay even touched an AK-rifle. A vertical division split the HM in two warring outfits, one headed by master Ahsan Dar and the other by master Yousuf Shah alias Syed Salahu-du-Din. Senior ‘commanders’ of both groups got killed in this internecine warfare. Geelani issued orders to Syed Salah-ud-Din to eliminate all those who defied HM headed by him. During this period, master Ahsan Dar got a setback, when an important hideout in the house of Rashid Zain-i-Gami, an influential, rich and wealthy supporter of Ahsan Da was destroyed by the grenade attacks and in the process. Rashid-Zaini-Gami was killed – a severe blow suffered by Ahsan Dar. Rashid-Zaini-Gami, was not the only one, two other senior leaders of JI, the senior most ‘original (ASLI) commander’ and ‘founder (baani) militant’ met the same fate. It was Geelani who had ordered their killings, only to emerge as the unchallenged leader of Hurriyat, says one of Geelanis one time colleague who does not want to be identified for obvious reasons.
Geelani did not stop at that. The rise of SLF (Students Liberation Front) to popularity in late 1994, was the biggest setback to Geelani and he set his murder machine to motion. He detailed Syed Salah-ud-Din to kill the ‘supreme commander’ of SLF – someone known as Kuka Parrey, Salah-du-Din failed to deliver and an immediate change of plans took place. A meeting was held in village Vachi in south Kashmir in the house of one Ghulam Hassan Khan, a senior JI leader. Another senior JI leader, Ghulam Qadir Ganaai, present in the meeting sent for Abdul Qayoom Shah, an important leader of National Conference. There were 40 to 50 fully armed militants already in the room when Qayoom Shah arrived. He was offered a princely sum of Rs 50 lacs and asked to surrender to the army, gain their confidence and kill ‘that’
Kuka Parrey. This too did not work.
An alternate plan was hatched. A group of hardcore HM ‘commanders’ that included Abdul Majeed Hajam, M Ashraf Hajam, Tufail a ‘coy commander’ and younger brother of Zafar-ul-Islam of Salvation Movement and Fayaz Ahmed Ahangar alias Junaid-ul-Islam were ordered to surrender along with their arms and then work for Hm from within. To Geelani’s disbelief and shock, most of these surrendered militants actually started working against HM, but Geelani could not take it lightly. He got Abdul Majeed Hajam burnt alive in a brick kiln, to send a sterm message to any prospective ‘renegades’. He continued issuing ‘Death Orders’ regularly Mir Asadullah, a prominent Congress leader of Soi Bug was done away with in a mine blast and in March/April, 1996 when 8 militants and 3 civilians got killed in an encounter in village Chivdara of Beerwah tehsil. Geelani publicly declared to the assembled mourners that he knew who the informer (mukhbir) was and the next day, the bullet ridden body of Abdul Khaliq Mir of J&K police, of the same village, was found in the village square. Geelani had deputed Musaib bhai, a Pakistani militant to kill Mir.
This modern day godfather controls HM, appoints naazims (commanders) of even platoons, companies and battalions – not to speak of higher formations, looks after the finances and has a well knit organisational set up where he has his favoured and trusted commanders working for him. A well known journalist worked for him for years under the assumed name of Idrees Khan. This journalist later worked as a staffer of a national daily for years, this time under his real name. Under a well chalked out plan, he made some of those ‘ex-commanders’ surrender, spend few years in jail and are now openly running his Tehrik-i-Hurriyat. And what is Tehrik-i-Hurriyat? This Geelani ‘the Indian’ once thrown out of Hurriyat Conference (was it a part of a deep rooted conspiracy?) floated another political party under the name and title of ‘Tehrik-i-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir in 2004 with himself as its chairman. The constitution (dastoor) of Tehrik-i-Hurriyat right in its permeable, incites, instigates and provokes its members to eliminate all non-believers in the name of Islam and thus complete the unfinished task of the Prophet. Just read what is written in the very first chapter (there are three chapters in all) of the constitution (DASTOOR) pages 4 and 5.
“….Those who are not accepting the fact that all creation flows from the dispensation of the one God, those that insist that they will bow to the God of their choosing and base their culture and civilisation on the philosophies and points of view of their liking are hereby told unequivocally that the Messenger of God has not been sent to accommodate them, but has been sent to impose the instructions of (the one) God that he brings on every aspect of creation. This (the will of God) has to be carried out by him in whatever manner required. You should leave no stone un-turned to condemn/admonish/lashout at the apostate polytheistEND and the disbeliever to accept this, he may try howsoever hard (towards the controversy): this mission of the Messenger will stand accomplished”.
Is this ‘Indian’ not exhorting his followers (Muslims) of terrorising Hindus (Polytheists)? Yet he is not booked under the relevant sections of IPC. He is the only ‘Indian’ who calls Omar Abdullah the chief minister of Indian occupied Kashmir. Even the Pakistanis refer to the state of J&K as the Indian administered J&K state. In a booklet ‘teen hadaf’ (three aims), he throws caution to the winds and pleads intensely for the creation for ummah, where there will be no geographical demarcations and different governments, but just one khilafat. This modern day ‘Indian’ godfather is calling the shots.
The state bureaucracy and police are unwilling to touch him.