Hero of Shopian agitation turns out to be a thief
Stolen gold worth Rs 60 Lakh recovered from Hurriyat activist Maulvi Tariq
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
Accused in 10 criminal matters, including attempted murder, Tariq-ul-Amin Shah alias Maulvi Tariq, had never been arrested or interrogated by Police for fear of a turbulent reaction in
South Kashmir until last evening. He had played key role in mobilizing people and sponsoring a violent agitation in 2009 with the allegation that the two young women found dead in Rambiara Nullah on 29-05-2009 had been “raped and killed” by Police and security forces.
SP Shopian, Mumtaz Ahmed, told Early Times that owner of City Jewelers, Altaf Ahmed Wafai of Lal Bazar Srinagar, complained at Police Station Shopian on June 3rd forenoon that a huge quantity of gold, valued at Rs 60 Lakh, besides cash worth Rs 56,000 had been stolen from his shop during preceding night. Complainant Wafai is the husband of Maulvi Tariq’s sister who had established his jewelry in Shopian sometime back. Taking many precautionary measures, he had installed an iron safe of Rs 2 Lakh cost inside the shop and also put in place a close circuit television camera.
Case FIR No: 161/2011 u/s 457, 380 RPC was accordingly registered and investigation launched. SP said that during the course of investigation, Police detained salesman Junaid S/o Peerzada Mohammad Ibrahim R/o Habbakadal Srinagar, whose interrogation led to recovery of a broken CCTV from Rambiara Nullah. Junaid spilled the beans and identified Maulvi Tariq as the man who had broken into the jewelry, stolen the gold and the cash and concealed it in the cabin of a television set on the third floor of his house.
During Junaid’s sustained questioning, Police learned that Tariq’s brother-in-law, Zial-ul-Haq Ahrar alias Rafi R/o Shopian, had also associated with the main accused in the commission of crime, including making the duplicate keys of the main shutter from Srinagar, removing and breaking the CCTV, breaking open the iron safe and concealing the stolen gold and money in an emptied TV set. After disclosures of Tariq and Zia-ul-Haq, Police recovered entire quantity of the stolen gold and cash from the third floor of Tariq’s house.
The inventory of recovered/seized metallic ornaments in case FIR No. 161/2011 under section 457, 380 RPC of Police Station Shopian are 21 bangles, 17 pendulums, one jhumar, four pounds, 11 brooches and tie-pins, 40 chains, 19 pendulum sets with tops, 38 circles, 131 finger rings, 56 Jhumka Haar, 28 Haar, 242 Tops+Jhumkas and three bracelets.
Police described the main accused Maulvi Tariq as District President of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat besides an executive member of Majlis-e-Mashawarat Shopian which was constituted during Shopian agitation-2009. He played an important role in spreading the agitation in nook and corner of the district and led the agitated mobs during this prolonged agitation.
According to SP Shopian, Maulvi Tariq was involved in at least 10 FIRs of serious criminal matters, including attempted murders but he had neither been arrested nor interrogated as the authorities feared that his detention could further stoke the fires. His only PSA detention in a matter of fake currency in Pulwama had been quashed by court.
According to Police records, Maulvi Tariq was wanted in case FIR Nos: 62/2001 under section 153-A, 66/2001 under section 153-A, 109/2001 under section 307, 147, 148, 149, 336 RPC, 76/2004 under section 148, 149, 152, 124-A, 307 RPC, 7/27 AA, 75/2004 under section 148, 149, 341, 332, 152, 124-A RPC, 199/2007 under section 420, 419, 489-B, C, 19 ULA, 135/2008 under section 148, 336, 435, 427, 307 RPC and 138/2008 under section 148, 336, 435, 427, 307 RPC.
His associate namely Zai-ul-haq alias Rafi son of Mohammad Shafi Ahrar resident of Bongam Shopian is a released Pakistan-trained militant of Hizbul Mujahideen. He was arrested in year 1996 and was detained under PSA. He is working as a teacher with Iqbal Memorial School Wathoo, Shopian. SP Shopian said both, Maulvi Tariq as well as Zial-ul-Haq, were from two extremely respected and influential families whose fathers and grandfathers were famous for their social work and character.
Maulvi Tariq is the umpteenth hero of the Shopian agitation of 2009 who has landed in Police custody for a major social crime. His wife committed suicide in 2010 by burning herself to death after a local newspaper published that Maulvi had raped a 15-year-old maid of his mother whose abortion had been later conducted in Khannabal, Anantnag.
Previously, another major character of the Shopian tragedy, Dr Nighat Shaheen Chiloo, was mentioned as a criminal in CBI challan when she admitted that she had fudged the vaginal swabs of the women purportedly collected from the two dead bodies. She told CBI that she had actually collected one sample of swab from 20 female patients examined at District Hospital Pulwama and another swab from her own body. Months later, another major character of the Shopian agitation drama, then Chief Medical Officer of Pulwama, was arrested for committing rape on a woman patient at his clinic in Pulwama. He is in jail without getting bail for the last over one year.