The U.S. authorities and Google have been approached by the Jammu and Kashmir police to share email contents exchanged by Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, a close aide of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, with Pakistan-based secessionist leaders and terrorists, a chargesheet filed by the Union Territory police has said.
The chargesheet said there is a prima facie evidence “sufficient to launch prosecution” against Parra for establishing a nexus with terrorists to seek their backing for his political gains and for reciprocating by way of providing a range of help and support which led to terror strikes.
“During investigation, it was found that the accused used to receive instructions and advice from Pakistan-based secessionist and terrorist leaders and communicated action-taken reports and a host of information in furtherance of terrorism and secessionism,” the chargesheet filed by the Counter Intelligence Kashmir (CIK) wing of the police said.
The chargesheet, submitted before a designated court in Srinagar earlier this month, said Parra used to share information through several email services, of which three have been brought on record.
“Accordingly, a request has been forwarded through proper channels to Google US as per their standard forms and norms for providing details/contents of emails exchanged by Parra through his three email IDs,” the 19-page charge sheet said. Parra’s lawyer and the PDP have denied all the allegations and have termed them “politically motivated”.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has also alleged that the police were ‘torturing’ Parra and keeping him in “inhuman conditions”. She had tweeted earlier that Parra was being “persecuted and tortured to admit the false allegations. Since an admission didn’t happen, he is being kept under inhuman conditions. This investigation has been fraudulent and politically motivated from day one”.
However, the police, which charged Parra under various Sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, said in its chargesheet even the U.S. authorities have been approached through the medium of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) via the Ministry of External Affairs for assistance in the case. “Google US has been requested to preserve the data of the emails … and Google has conveyed compliance,” the chargesheet said.
The CIK, which is part of the J&K police’s CID, has also asked Google to provide WhatsApp chats and data stored in the iCloud account connected to his mobile phone and the details are awaited, the chargesheet said. This is the secondcharge sheet against Parra, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in November. In January, Parra was granted bail by the NIA court in Jammu but was immediately detained by the CIK and brought to Srinagar, and at present, he is in judicial custody.
In March, he was chargesheeted by the NIA and it was alleged that he had paid ₹5 crore to the son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for keeping Kashmir in turmoil after the death of Burhan Wani, poster boy of the Hizbul Mujahideen, in 2016.
The CIK had filed a case last year against unknown politicians and others based on “reliable and confidential sources” who said some political functionaries were misusing their power and helping militants.
These politicians have variously supported the terrorists and secessionists, and even facilitated their movement, transporting their hardware and converting areas under their political responsibility as ‘unavailable’ for anti-terrorist operations. had such unprincipled and illegal influence not exercised by these unethical political party functionaries, the guilty terrorists and secessionists would have been brought to justice,” the FIR of the CIK had said.
The CIK, which is mandated to probe cases under the UAPA and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), took sanction for Parra’s prosecution from the Jammu and Kashmir Home Department under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).