Not Falling for the Trap

  • Engineer Rasheed
  • Publish Date: Jun 3 2017 1:58AM
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  • Updated Date: Jun 3 2017 2:01AM
Not Falling for the Trap

I too was a target of India Today channel’s sting operation. Why aren’t they airing it?

 

“I know him better than anybody. Muzaffar sahib is a reputable person. It proves our credibility if he desires to meet us.He is very close to the pro-resistance leadership and has conducted some good programmes for Mirwaiz’sHurriyat in North Kashmir. We should not delay the meeting offered by Muzaffar sahib.”

These touching words of our party spokesperson Inam-un-Nabi left me with no choice but to say yes to the proposed meet. I remember it was a pleasant Tuesdayevening in the second week of January. Inam, accompanied by a strongly-built man arrived at my residence at Shahabad Mohallain Jammu.

Inam introduced Muzaffar sahib to me and I received my guest with warmth. I had no reason to not believe what Inam had spoken about Muzaffar sahib. “I have just one aim: to see the Kashmir issue resolved,” the guest began. “God has given me everything. And by the grace of almighty, I have gained trust and faith not only among Indian business tycoons but have also earned a good name in the Indian Premier League. The pro-resistance leadership has also shown trust and faith in me from time to time.”

Sipping salted tea in my drawing room, Muzaffar sahib continued, “Rasheed sahib, Kashmiris have started loving and believing you but don’t be confined to Langate. People need you and for that you need to reach out to well-wishers of Kashmiris in India.” His words carried meaning and I responded, “I have time and again made my stand clear that I am ready to meet even people with extreme ideologies such as Uddhav Thackeray and Hafiz Saeed if it helps my bleeding people…”

Muzaffar sahib interrupted, “Jinab, please don’t waste any more time. You are too simple. You have to come to Delhi. The anti-Modi corporate lobby wants all anti-Modi forces to be united to show Modi his place. The big guns want you to raise the prestige issues in the assembly, and there is a lot more to be discussed.”

I started saying something but Muzaffar sahib again interrupted, “No ifs and buts, this Saturday we have to leave for New Delhi. You have an off day Saturday and then it is Sunday.” Before I could say anything,he took my leave with a smile on his face, pledging to meet in Delhi.

Inam walked him to his car. On Friday morning,Muzaffarsahib called Inam and conveyed that he was sending tickets for both of us for the next morning’s flight to Delhi. I told him we would manage everything on our own; if somebody wants to share our pain, why should they pay for our tickets.

After hanging up the phone, we checked the airfare. It was over Rs 15,000 per passenger. So, I asked Inam to apologise to Muzaffar sahib that we would not be able to travel to Delhi this time. Muzaffar sahib expressed his displeasure and told Inam, ‘Engineer sahib is too ignorant. Sixty thousand rupees doesn’t mean anything for the holy cause’.

Anyway, we had to cancel our visit. On March 5, Muzzafar sahib called again and informed Inam that representatives of the anti-Modi corporate establishment were in Kashmir and wanted to meet me. Muzaffar sahib asked us to reach the Sarover hotel in Srinagar at 5 pm the next day. Inam and I reached the hotel and found Muzaffar sahib waiting at the reception along with the “representatives”. One of them introduced himself as Jamsheed, and straightaway led me, and two of his associates, to his room on the second floor.

The conversation started urgently. “You don’t know how much people love and believe in you. Modi is bent on destroying not only Kashmir, but the whole of India,” Jamsheed said. “We are holding broad-based discussions with all peace-loving, secular and anti-Modi forces. You seem to be unaware of your credibility and the work you are doing.”

He was fluent in his words and consistent in his expressions. Jamsheed went on: “The Kashmir issue has to be resolved for durable peace. It is in India’s own interest.But Engineer sahib, do you think Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti or even the Hurriyat can deliver? You are our only ray of hope.We respect you for your consistency and commitment. But for result-oriented outcome, the NC and the PDP need to be thrown into the dustbin.”

I responded that if Kashmiris really feel about us this way, then they will surely support our party. Muzaffar interrupted me,saying that doing all this required money. Jamsheed intervened: “That (money) is no issue.We can go to any extent to help the cause that Engineer sahib is fighting as it is our joint cause. Let us start with organising protests against demonetisation, cross-LoC shelling and continuous human rights violations.”

I said we were already doing all this, but Jamsheed flashed a wide smile and said, “Make your budget and we will provide you huge funding for all these protests and other related political activities, including social work...” Before he could finish, I reacted, “We don’t accept hidden donations. But we follow the voice of our conscience and will be more than happy to receive your moral and political support.”

When all their efforts to persuade us to accept their money failed, Jamsheed pointed to a locker in the room and said there were a few crore rupees in it and the least we could do for the “cause” was to help exchange their older currency notes with the new ones by distributing them among our party workers. “You can take your share and that is not immoral,” he said. I reacted sharply and stood up to leave, saying, “I and my colleagues thank you for your offer but we cannot accept it as our conscience doesn’t allow us to do so.”

Before we left, Jamsheed gave us his cell phone number (8076621667) and asked us to rethink the offer and inform him if we changed our mind. Inam and I left the place after about two hours of discussion. We were convinced that their intentions were good and they had come to lend a helping hand; I even felt respect for them as they had made some valid points.

On May 6, India Today news channel aired the so-called sting operation and it took us no time to confirm that Muzzafar sahib and his guests were neither the representatives of the corporate sector nor sponsors of the IPL, but undercover journalists. The same guys whom Muzaffar sahib had introduced us were the people who had carried out the sting operation against Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bita Karate, and some stone-pelters.

These journalists may now justify their immoral operation by giving it whatever name, but the question is would India Today muster up some morality to air the sting operation carried out on me as well?It will show the world that not every Kashmiri can be brought and that our ongoing mass resistance can survive without sold-out leaders.