The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Lady with lakhs does a Pak flip

New Delhi, March 4: Arrested Hurriyat Conference activist Anjum Zamarud Habib today retracted her earlier statement that she had received Rs 3.07 lakh from the Pakistan High Commission.

Habib, a member of the Muslim Khwateen-e-Markaz, the women’s wing of the separatist conglomerate, was picked up by a Delhi police team on February 6 as she came out of the high commission in Chanakyapuri. During search, police had recovered the money from her possession.

Habib, who was produced before special judge S.N. Dhingra for extension of her judicial remand, said she had made that statement under police pressure. “I was pressurised to depose so since they were taking me on 10 days’ remand,” she said.

She also accused the Delhi police of forcing her to make “false entries” in the diary seized from her possession. After her arrest, she had been charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

When Dhingra asked why she admitted to having received the “nazrana” (gift) from the high commission before the court on February 7, the Hurriyat activist said she had never used the word nazrana in court.

In her statement before the court, Habib had admitted the money was given by the high commission for Hurriyat chairman Abdul Gani Bhat. But she did not name then charge d’affaires Jalil Abbas Jilani as the one who had given the cash. The Delhi police had named Jilani in the first information report after which he was given marching orders.

Dhingra assured Habib he would look into the matter at the right time when she prayed the court not to believe the allegations levelled by the police.

The Delhi police have constituted a special team to probe the Pakistan mission’s involvement in funding Kashmiri militants.

A team is likely to be sent to Kashmir to probe the links that have surfaced during the investigation. Former Hurriyat spokesman Abdul Majid Bandey was questioned for the second time yesterday.

as he is alleged to have received funds from the Pakistan high commission.

He was grilled for hours on the amounts he had received from the mission and its utilisation.

Bandey, who is in the capital for his daughter’s treatment, confirmed to a news agency that he was questioned by Delhi police.

Besides Habib, Delhi police had also arrested Shabir Ahmed Dar, the head of the Delhi-based Kashmir Awareness Bureau, on charges of receiving funds from the Pakistan high commission. Dar, too, has been charged under the anti-terror Act.

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