Charges framed against Hurriyat leader, 7 others for selling Pakistani MBBS seats in J&K

On Monday, a special court framed charges against eight persons, including a prominent Hurriyat leader, for selling Pakistani MBBS seats in Jammu and Kashmir to fund terror activities.

Special judge NIA court, Srinagar, Manjeet Singh Manhas, framed the charges against Hurriyat leader and chairman Salvation Movement Mohammad Akbar Bhat alias ‘Zaffar Akbar Bhat’ and seven other residents of Kashmir for committing offences under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The case was registered against the “unscrupulous persons” by the State Investigation Agency (SIA) on July 27, 2020. They were hand in glove with some educational consultancies for arranging admission of Jammu and Kashmir residents in MBBS and other professional courses in various colleges, institutions, and universities in Pakistan.

Besides Akbar Bhat, others accused in the case are Fatima Shah, Altaf Ahmad Bhat (at present in Pakistan), Qazi Yasir (absconding), Mohammad Abdullah Shah, Sabzar Ahmad Sheikh, Manzoor Ahmad Shah (at present in Pakistan) and Mohammad Iqbal Mir, who was released on bail because he was suffering from a terminal disease, they said.

The court framed the charges after hearing detailed arguments from a battery of lawyers from the defence’s side and the SIA’s counterarguments, which was represented by a special public prosecutor, in 11 hearings spread over five months, an official said.

He said a huge amount of money was received instead of such admissions from parents of students, which was ploughed into supporting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

During the investigation, searches in the houses of the accused persons and at other places were undertaken by sleuths of the SIA after obtaining search warrants from the court, the official said.

The documents and other material seized during the search were analysed. As a result, he said that deposits in the accounts of accused persons were made to provide admissions in various technical and professional courses in Pakistan, including MBBS.