The NIA on Monday raided the Srinagar Central Jail along with the J&K police, CRPF and NSG commandos and in the process managed to recover Jihadi material, a Pakistani flag and 25 mobile phones. The recovered material included a Hizbul Mujahideen poster:
In total, about 20 teams of the NIA raided the premises while using drones to carry out surveillance. Apart from mobile phones, electronic items like SD cards, SIM cards, an iPod and pen drives. Other items included posters of slain terrorist Burhan Wani, diaries containing phone numbers of Pakistani handlers, screwdrivers and knives were also recovered.
The raid started early morning and continued until late afternoon and involved a thorough search all the barracks and open grounds.
This raid was carried out on the basis of a tip-off that Kashmiri youths were being radicalised from inside these jails and were later sent to Pakistan for arms training purposes. As per NIA spokesperson Inspector General Alok Mittal, this information was gathered after interrogating two Pulwama youths Danish Ghulam Lone and Sohail Ahmed Bhat, who were arrested while trying to cross over to Pakistan in October 2017.
These youths during the interrogation revealed that they were in contact with Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo, owing to their willingness to join the organisation. Naikoo, as a result, directed them to Mohammad Ishaq who was lodged in the Srinagar Central Jail. Ishaq later allegedly stayed in touch with the duo via mobile phones while being inside the jail, during which he indoctrinated them and also arranged a passage for them to POK.
The Srinagar Central Jail had attained notoriety recently after it was exposed as being a “paradise for terrorists”. The report alleged that the prison inmates enjoyed the possession of smartphones and were eating well, thanks to Kashmiri mutton delicacies like wazwan. It was alleged that rules were openly flouted, without much intervention by the authorities.
The flouting included a terrorist regularly giving a press release and another top terrorist getting visited by hoards of devotees who considered him to be some form of a godman.
This expose had resulted in a crackdown which involved two prominent prisoners Qasim Faktoo and Shafi Shareati getting shifted to Jammu jails. This angered separatists who then called for a shutdown in the valley to protest against this move.