The Jammu and Kashmir Police had arrested a 26-year-old journalist Adil Farooq Bhat near Lal Chowk, Srinagar, on Tuesday and had recovered grenades from his possession. The J&K police had arrested Adil Farooq, a journalist working as a sub-editor with CNS News Agency in Press Enclave.
The arrest had come just hours after a horrific grenade attack at Hari Singh High Street near Srinagar’s Lal Chowk, leaving ten civilians injured.
The J&K Police had said that the terrorist masquerading as a journalist, Adil Farooq Bhat had two hand grenades in his possession. The police said that Adil Farooq, who originally hails from Khrew, Pampore of Pulwama in South Kashmir, is being currently interrogated for his role in terror attacks. The police added they suspected that a wider nexus might be at play.
#BREAKING: Journalist Aadil Farooq arrested with 2 grenades by CRPF near Lalchowk in Srinagar, Kashmir. Minutes after Grenade attack near Amira Kadal. Being interrogated by senior police officers right now. Journalist working as a Sub-Editor with CNS News Agency in Press Enclave. pic.twitter.com/nqPjfxVTIZ— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) August 10, 2021
This is not the first time that the journalist-cum-terrorist has been involved in terrorist activities. Previously, he was arrested in the year 2019 for his providing logistical support to Islamic terrorists.
Adil Farooq, who was then a journalism student at the Central University of Kashmir, was booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and shifted to Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu for working as an overground worker of terrorists.
The Public Safety Act (PSA) dossier from 2019 regarding Adil Farooq shared by Kashmiri journalist Aditya Raj Kaul said, “You met with various militants in whose influence you developed a militant ideology. As a result, you established a link with the Hurriyat leader Bilal Gani Lone under whose instructions you remained pro-active in instigating the same ideology amongst the people and youth of the area. You have also liaison with one militant, namely Mohammad Ayoub Lone, alias pilot of banned militant organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and his other militant associates for whom you are working as over ground worker as being a local you know topography of the area which leads to the safe transportation of illegal arms and ammunition through unconventional routes and away from the security forces.”
Following his arrest in 2019, the J&K Police had accused Adil Farooq of providing terrorists with all possible help including food, shelter, logistics and transportation in Kashmir. In addition, the dossier had accused Adil and his associates of hatching a “criminal conspiracy” to undertake terrorist activity in the area of Khrew.
Pro-Pakistani separatists, Islamists had come to Adil Farooq’s rescue in 2019
Shockingly, soon after his arrest in 2019, several pro-Pakistan elements in Kashmir, Islamists, and a section of “liberal-secular” media had rallied on to support the journalist-cum-terrorist Adil Farooq. Following his detention in 2019 over terror charges, pro-Pakistani separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had condemned the arrest of the alleged journalist and had claimed that he was falsely booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).
The pro-Pakistani propagandist had claimed that the government was hellbent upon ruining the careers of students and youths by implicating them in “false” cases.
Similarly, many had then started a campaign in support of Adil Farooq, claiming that the government was using PSA to suppress every voice in Kashmir.
In fact, even the “liberal-secular” media had descended down to absolve Adil Farooq after he was detained on the charges of supporting terror networks. The left-wing news outlet ‘The Vice’ had published an article about how the Kashmiri “student” has been struggling with the “New Normal” of freedom after being in jail for a year under the PSA.
With the arrest of the alleged journalist on terror charges, several people have now raised apprehensions about terrorists using the cover of journalists to carry out well-planned terror attacks in the valley. They have demanded the government that the journalists should now be scrutinised before granting them permission to enter Jammu and Kashmir.