The Hurriyat has decided to use a legal recourse to challenge the presence of National Investigation Agency in Jammu and Kashmir. This comes after On 24th , the NIA had arrested seven people from Srinagar and Delhi , namely Altaf Ahmad Shah, Funtoosh Geelani ( son in law of Syed Ali Shah Geelani ) Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Peer Saifullah, Aftab Hilali Shah (alias Shahid-ul-Islam), Nayeem Khan and Farooq Ahmad Dar (alias Bitta Karate).
The raids of the NIA have certainly rattled the economic holdings of the Kashmiri separatists and they have decided to speak to lawyers who they feel are sympathetic to their cause.The Hurriyat has employed a team of nine lawyers, namely Zafar Shah who is close to Hurriyat leader Yasin Malik will draft a charge-sheet on the grounds of challenging the validity of the NIA through somehow using Article 370. This could be seen as a desperate move from the Hurriyat to somehow derail the investigation after many reports of Benami properties were found in Delhi and Haryana, belonging to various Separatist leaders.
To add to this, successful operations conducted by the army and the Jammu and Kashmir police which saw 118 terrorists being neutralized have seriously rattled the separatists. Moreover, the NIA raided the house of Divender Singh Bhel in Nowshera, Rajouri, believed to be close to Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani. The suspicion was based on the evidence the NIA has on Bhel over routing funds to separatists from Pakistan – based handliners.
Intelligence officials have told the center that there is a serious disagreement between the faction led by Mirwaz Umar Farooq and the other factions over the aggressive approach of the Hurriyat. They perhaps lament about the ‘missed opportunity to settle the matter with having constructive talks’ with the center. In 2016, Home Minister, Rajnath Singh stated that they were open to dialogue with them.
Their strategy is to challenge the NIA in the court of Jammu and Kashmir. However, if we look at it from a legal point of view, the NIA has sufficient proof and the jurisdiction to investigative all states and borders so it’s possible that their attempt might fall through. The change in policy over Kashmiri separatists has been seen as people compare the Kashmiriyat during Vajpayee’s tenure and the arrests under Modi. Somewhere, Mehbooba Mufti has been trying to convince Modi to act like his predecessor Vajpayee when it comes to dealing with the Hurriyat.
While one side cries foul and says that a legal recourse like this will harm the sentiment of Kashmir , the other side states the inability of the Hurriyet to control the people in the valley and their decline in the political heresay in the valley as the rise of Hizbul Mujahideen and slowly , the ISIS have seen a noticeable trends in the youth.
For years, the political parties in the center have tried to play parley with the separatists to show a form of ‘peaceful’ method to sort this issue. However, the political situation was different back then and perhaps, they did not expect the common sentiment of the people in the country to be strongly nationalistic about the valley and a sign of pandering towards them would be judged in a harsh manner.