Senior PDP leader Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, a close aide of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, was an asset for Pakistan-based terror groups and his 13 years' journey from 2007 as a journalist and politician was a "saga of subterfuge, deceit and double dealing", alleges a police chargesheet against him. Parra is alleged to have established a nexus with terrorists for seeking support from them for political gains and reciprocated it by providing a range of help and support which led to terror strikes.
With the help of five protected witnesses and technical intelligence, the Criminal Investigation Kashmir (CIK), a wing of the CID Department, submitted a chargesheet before an NIA Court recently alleging that Parra was hand-in-glove with terrorists to further the agenda of Pakistan-based terror groups and also to ensure that his political adversaries are neutralised. The 19-page chargesheet, with hundreds of pages of annexures, has given instances of his targeted attempts to eliminate political opponents and to help his party leaders by paying terror groups to swing the electoral battle in his party's favour.
His lawyer has denied all these charges during various court proceedings related to his bail and custodial pleas, and claimed that his client, who won the District Development Council elections last year, was being made a political scapegoat. The chargesheet highlighted his links to Pakistan-trained Abu Dujana and Abu Qassim, who were killed in separate encounters with security forces, and went on to allege that he used to meet them personally as well as through Over Ground Workers (OGWs).
The chargesheet alleged that a forced marriage between a girl and dreaded Pakistani terrorist Abu Dujana had his "blessings", the chargesheet claimed. The police have tracked his journey from 2007 when he went to Pakistan and interviewed banned Hizbul Mujahideen's chief Syed Salahuddin and broadcast it on his local media channel which was being operated from Pulwama, his home district, in South Kashmir.
Parra joined the PDP in 2013 and "once ensconced in the safety of a recognised political party…, the accused systematically went about strengthening himself by craftily deepening his roots on two sides of the divide — India and Pakistan". "…Parra had the permission of the Pakistani establishment to keep throwing crumbs at India, allowing them petty tactical gains and systematically pushing the overall situation, slowly but surely, in favour of Pakistan in a strategic sense. What played out over 13 years (2007-2020) was a saga of subterfuges, deceit and double meaning," the chargesheet alleged.
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). 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.
In March this year, Parra was chargesheeted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and it was alleged that the PDP youth leader had paid Rs 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, the poster boy of Hizbul Mujahideen, in 2016. The NIA accused Parra, who was arrested last November, of being involved with banned terrorist groups like Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The NIA alleged that after the death of Wani, who was killed in an encounter with the Army in July 2016, Parra got in touch with Altaf Ahmad Shah, alias Altaf Fantoosh, and asked him to ensure that the valley was kept on the boil with widespread unrest and stone-pelting. In January this year Parra was granted bail by the NIA court, which said there was no reference to him in the original as well as the supplementary chargesheets presented in July and October last year respectively.
However, he was arrested by the CIK Wing in the case related to nexus between mainstream politicians and secessionists, and he continues to be in jail since then. His bail was rejected by the NIA Court in Srinagar.