The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dirt pierces Pak diplomacy cover
- Envoy named in cash-catch FIR

New Delhi, Feb. 7: In a sign of the depths India-Pakistan relations have plumbed, Islamabad’s charge d’affaires in Delhi, Jalil Abbas Jilani, was today named in the first information report on the arrest of two Kashmir activists on charges of accepting money for terrorist activities.

Only diplomatic immunity saved Jilani, the deputy high commissioner, from being mentioned as an accused under the new anti-terrorism Act.

Anjum Zamarud Habib, a member of the Muslim Khawateen-e-Markaz which is a part of the separatist Hurriyat Conference, was picked up yesterday evening from near the Pakistan high commission with Rs 3.07 lakh on her person.

Delhi police said she had confessed to being provided the money by Jilani. Anjum told a special judge that she had received the money from the Pakistan high commission as a “nazrana” (gift) for Hurriyat chairman Abdul Gani Bhat. Bhat denied that the group was “involved in any way, overtly or covertly, in any financial deal”.

Pakistan protested against the accusation. The foreign ministry said in Islamabad that allegations “accusing…Jilani of providing money to representatives” of the Hurriyat were “ridiculous and baseless”.

Anjum said she had gone to the high commission to collect a book titled Independent Survey of Elections on Bhat’s request and denied that the money was meant for terrorists.

Shabir Ahmed Dar, who is in charge of the Delhi-based Kashmir Awareness Bureau run by the Hurriyat, was also arrested yesterday and Rs 2.15 lakh found in his Malviya Nagar house.

Both were remanded in police custody for 10 days by the special judge, S.N. Dhingra, and charged under Section 22 (2) of the anti-terrorism Act.

The section says that a person commits an offence if he or she receives money or “other property” with the intention to use it for the purpose of terrorism. The police have slapped only sub-clause 2 of Section 22, without adding sub-clause 1, because they cannot name Jilani as the provider of the Rs 3.07 lakh to Anjum for diplomatic constraints. Sub-clause 1 says that a person commits an offence if he or she invites another person to give money for terrorist activities.

With Bhat’s name coming on record, the government may take action against him.

Senior police prosecutor D.P. Agarwal said a page of a telephone diary recovered from Anjum contained the names of militant organisations receiving funds. The police alleged that Anjum wrote in the diary yesterday the amounts given to these outfits, including the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Al Omar, Hizb-ul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammad. The page has “20” and “30” scribbled against these names.

Anjum contradicted the prosecution version by saying that the police forced her to write the names of the organisations and amounts against them. As she was being taken back into custody, she said: “Mere sath vishwasghat kiya gaya hain (I have been betrayed).” ( )

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