Historical photos of Nehru’s US visit

Came across these photos in the digital archive collection of the US presidential library. Some good historical photos. Enjoy…

1. Photograph of President Truman shaking hands with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India upon Nehru’s arrival at Washington National Airport, while Indira Gandhi disembarks from the President’s airplane, “The Independence” – October 11, 1949

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2. Photograph of President Truman shaking hands with the Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, upon Nehru’s arrival at Washington National Airport, as the Prime Minister’s sister (Madame Pandit) and daughter (Indira Gandhi) look on – October 11, 1949

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3. Photograph of Prime Minister Nehru with Madame Pandit and Indira Gandhi, standing outside George Washington’s house during their tour of Mount Vernon, ca – October 12, 1949

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4. Jawaharlal Nehru laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, ca – October 12, 1949.

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5. Nehru with Secretary of State Dean Acheson, ca – October 12, 1949

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Uma Bharti’s letter to Advani

Bharatiya Janashakti Party leader Uma Bharti declared last week that she wholeheartedly supported BJP leader L K Advani’s bid to become the next prime minister.

In a letter to the veteran BJP leader,  Bharti wrote that in the context of present political scenario, internal and external challenges that India faces, he is the best suited person to lead the country.

It is interesting to note that Bharti was expelled from the BJP in 2005 for her outburst against Advani in full media glare.

Click here to read the letter

Sardar Patel’s letter to Nehru on Tibet

Tibetans across the world, especially in India, celebrated the 50th anniversary of their failed uprising against China on Tuesday. The March 10, 1959 riots in Tibet against Chinese rule resulted in a brutal crackdown and led to Dalai Lama’s flight to India.

Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, slammed China on the anniversary for turning Tibet into “hell on earth”.

The Western nations have appealed to China for maintaining human rights in Tibet, but India’s response to the entire issue has been muted since last few decades.

After gaining independence from the British, India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru tried his best to prevent the Chinese military occupation of Tibet, which was an autonomous region and a buffer between India and China.

According to George N Patterson, in his paper China and Tibet: Background to the Revolt, “On October 25, 1950, Peking radio broadcast that the process of “liberating” Tibet had begun. However, it was still not publicly admitted to be a military action. When the Indian ambassador in Peking lodged a strong protest from his government, “the Chinese reply was equally strong. It practically accused India of having been influenced by the imperialists, and claimed that the Chinese had not taken any military action but were determined to liberate Tibet by peaceful means…”

Although India provided some military aid to Tibet initially, there was nothing much that could be done in the face of a firm People’s Liberation Army (PLA) response.

Analysts say India then did not take a strong position in the hope that further antagonizing China on the issue would aggravate matters. The only option for Tibetans then was to reach to a compromise with the Chinese, who eventually took over the region in 1959.

There are different views on the Indian policy towards China and the Tibet issue. I will write more on that some other day. I have reproduced here the letter written by then Deputy Prime Minister of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on November 7, 1950 on Tibet issue.

The letter throws light on the thought process of the Indian government vis-a-vis Tibet and China in the initial years after the independence.

The letter is sourced from Claude Arpi’s collections of historical documents pertaining to India.

Letter from Deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Vhallabhbhai Patel to Prime Minister Jahawarlal Nehru

New Delhi
7 November 1950

My dear Jawaharlal,

1. Ever since my return from Ahmedabad and after the cabinet meeting the same day which I had to attend practically at 15 minutes’ notice and for which I regret I was not able to read all the papers, I have been anxiously thinking over the problem of Tibet and thought I should share with you what is passing through my mind.

2. I have carefully gone through the correspondence between the External Affairs Ministry and our Ambassador in Peking and through him the Chinese Government. I have tried to peruse this correspondence as favourably to our Ambassador and the Chinese Government as possible, but I regret to say that neither of them comes out well as a result of this study. The Chinese Government has tried to delude us by professions of peaceful intention. My own feeling is that at a crucial period they managed to instill into our Ambassador a false sense of confidence in their so-called desire to settle the Tibetan problem by peaceful means. There can be no doubt that during the period covered by this correspondence the Chinese must have been concentrating for an onslaught on Tibet. The final action of the Chinese, in my judgement, is little short of perfidy. The tragedy of it is that the Tibetans put faith in us; they chose to be guided by us; and we have been unable to get them out of the meshes of Chinese diplomacy or Chinese malevolence. From the latest position, it appears that we shall not be able to rescue the Dalai Lama. Our Ambassador has been at great pains to find an explanation or justification for Chinese policy and actions. As the External Affairs Ministry remarked in one of their telegrams, there was a lack of firmness and unnecessary apology in one or two representations that he made to the Chinese Government on our behalf. It is impossible to imagine any sensible person believing in the so-called threat to China from Anglo-American machinations in Tibet. Therefore, if the Chinese put faith in this, they must have distrusted us so completely as to have taken us as tools or stooges of Anglo-American diplomacy or strategy. This feeling, if genuinely entertained by the Chinese in spite of your direct approaches to them, indicates that even though we regard ourselves as the friends of China, the Chinese do not regard us as their friends. With the Communist mentality of “whoever is not with them being against them”, this is a significant pointer, of which we have to take due note. During the last several months, outside the Russian camp, we have practically been alone in championing the cause of Chinese entry into UN and in securing from the Americans assurances on the question of Formosa. We have done everything we could to assuage Chinese feelings, to allay its apprehensions and to defend its legitimate claims in our discussions and correspondence with America and Britain and in the UN. Inspite of this, China is not convinced about our disinterestedness; it continues to regard us with suspicion and the whole psychology is one, at least outwardly, of scepticism perhaps mixed with a little hostility. I doubt if we can go any further than we have done already to convince China of our good intentions, friendliness and goodwill. In Peking we have an Ambassador who is eminently suitable for putting across the friendly point of view. Even he seems to have failed to convert the Chinese. Their last telegram to us is an act of gross discourtesy not only in the summary way it disposes of our protest against the entry of Chinese forces into Tibet but also in the wild insinuation that our attitude is determined by foreign influences. It looks as though it is not a friend speaking in that language but a potential enemy.

3. In the background of this, we have to consider what new situation now faces us as a result of the disappearance of Tibet, as we knew it, and the expansion of China almost up to our gates. Throughout history we have seldom been worried about our north-east frontier. The Himalayas have been regarded as an impenetrable barrier against any threat from the north. We had a friendly Tibet which gave us no trouble. The Chinese were divided. They had their own domestic problems and never bothered us about frontiers. In 1914, we entered into a convention with Tibet which was not endorsed by the Chinese. We seem to have regarded Tibetan autonomy as extending to independent treaty relationship. Presumably, all that we required was Chinese counter-signature. The Chinese interpretation of suzerainty seems to be different. We can, therefore, safely assume that very soon they will disown all the stipulations which Tibet has entered into with us in the past. That throws into the melting pot all frontier and commercial settlements with Tibet on which we have been functioning and acting during the last half a century. China is no longer divided. It is united and strong. All along the Himalayas in the north and north-east, we have on our side of the frontier a population ethnologically and culturally not different from Tibetans and Mongoloids. The undefined state of the frontier and the existence on our side of a population with its affinities to the Tibetans or Chinese have all the elements of the potential trouble between China and ourselves. Recent and bitter history also tells us that Communism is no shield against imperialism and that the communists are as good or as bad imperialists as any other. Chinese ambitions in this respect not only cover the Himalayan slopes on our side but also include the important part of Assam. They have their ambitions in Burma also. Burma has the added difficulty that it has no McMahon Line round which to build up even the semblance of an agreement. Chinese irredentism and communist imperialism are different from the expansionism or imperialism of the western powers. The former has a cloak of ideology which makes it ten times more dangerous. In the guise of ideological expansion lie concealed racial, national or historical claims. The danger from the north and north-east, therefore, becomes both communist and imperialist. While our western and north-western threat to security is still as prominent as before, a new threat has developed from the north and north-east. Thus, for the first time, after centuries, India’s defence has to concentrate itself on two fronts simultaneously. Our defence measures have so far been based on the calculations of superiority over Pakistan. In our calculations we shall now have to reckon with communist China in the north and in the north-east, a communist China which has definite ambitions and aims and which does not, in any way, seem friendly disposed towards us.

4. Let us also consider the political conditions on this potentially troublesome frontier. Our northern and north-eastern approaches consist of Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling and the tribal areas in Assam. From the point of view of communication, there are weak spots. Continuous defensive lines do not exist. There is almost an unlimited scope for infiltration. Police protection is limited to a very small number of passes. There, too, our outposts do not seem to be fully manned. The contact of these areas with us is by no means close and intimate. The people inhabiting these portions have no established loyalty or devotion to India. Even Darjeeling and Kalimpong areas are not free from pro-Mongoloid prejudices. During the last three years, we have not been able to make any appreciable approaches to the Nagas and other hill tribes in Assam. European missionaries and other visitors had been in touch with them, but their influence was in no way friendly to India or Indians. In Sikkim, there was political ferment some time ago. It is quite possible that discontent is smouldering there. Bhutan is comparatively quiet, but its affinity with Tibetans would be a handicap. Nepal has a weak oligarchic regime based almost entirely on force: it is in conflict with a turbulent element of the population as well as with enlightened ideas of the modern age. In these circumstances, to make people alive to the new danger or to make them defensively strong is a very difficult task indeed and that difficulty can be got over only by enlightened firmness, strength and a clear line of policy. I am sure the Chinese and their source of inspiration, Soviet Union, would not miss any opportunity of exploiting these weak spots, partly in support of their ideology and partly in support of their ambitions. In my judgement the situation is one which we cannot afford either to be complacent or to be vacillating. We must have a clear idea of what we wish to achieve and also of the methods by which we should achieve it. Any faltering or lack of decisiveness in formulating our objectives or in pursuing our policies to attain those objectives is bound to weaken us and increase the threats which are so evident.

5. Side by side with these external dangers, we shall now have to face serious internal problems as well. I have already asked (HVR) lyengar to send to the F.A. Ministry a copy of the Intelligence Bureau’s appreciation of these matters. Hitherto, the Communist Party of India has found some difficulty in contacting communists abroad, or in getting supplies of arms, literature, etc. from them. They had to contend with the difficult Burmese and Pakistan frontiers on the East with the long sea board. They shall now have a comparatively easy means of access to Chinese communists and through them to other foreign communists. Infiltration of spies, fifth columnists and communists would now be easier. Instead of having to deal with isolated communist pockets in Telengana and Warangal we may have to deal communist threats to our security along our Northern and North-eastern frontiers where, for supplies of arms and ammunition, they can safely depend on communist arsenals in China. The whole situation thus raises a number of problems on which we must come to early decision so that we can, as I said earlier, formulate the objectives of our policy and decide the method by which those objectives are to be attained. It is also clear that the action will have to be fairly comprehensive, involving not only our defense strategy and state of preparations but also problem of internal security to deal with which we have not a moment to lose. We shall also have to deal with administrative and political problem in the weak spots along the frontier to which I have already referred.

6. It is of course, impossible to be exhaustive in setting out all these problems. I am, however, giving below some of the problems which, in my opinion, require early solution and round which we have to build our administrative or military policies and measures to implement them.

  • A Military and Intelligence appreciation of the Chinese threat to India both on the frontier and internal security.
  • An examination of military position and such redisposition of our forces as might be necessary, particularly with the idea of guarding important routes or areas which are likely to be the subject of dispute.
  • An appraisement of strength of our forces and, if necessary, reconsideration of our retrenchment plans to the Army in the light of the new threat.
  • A long-term consideration of our defense needs. My own feeling is that, unless we assure our supplies of arms, ammunition and armour, we should be making a defense position perpetually weak and we would not be able to stand up to the double threat of difficulties both from the West and North-West and North and North-East.
  • The question of Chinese entry into UNO. In view of rebuff China has given us and the method which it has followed in dealing with Tibet, I am doubtful whether we can advocate its claims any longer. There would probably be a threat in the UNO virtually to outlaw China in view of its active participation in Korean War. We must determine our attitude on this question also.
  • The political and administrative steps which we should take to strengthen our Northern and North-Eastern frontier. This would include whole of border, i.e. Nepal, Bhutan. Sikkim. Darjeeling and tribal territory of Assam.
  • Measure of internal security in the border areas as well as the state flanking those areas such as U.P., Bihar, Bengal and Assam.
  • Improvement of our communication, road, rail, air and wireless with these areas and with the frontier outposts.
  • The future of our mission at Lhasa and the trade post of Gyantse and Yatung and the forces which we have in operation in Tibet guarding trade routes.
  • The policies in regards to McMahon Line.

These are some of the questions which occur to my mind. It is possible that a consideration of these matters might lead us into wider question of our relationship with China, Russia. America, Britain and Burma. This, however, would be of a general nature, though some might be basically very important. i.e. we might have to consider whether we should not enter into closer association with Burma in order to strengthen the latter in its dealings with China. I do not rule out the possibility that, before applying pressure on us, China might apply pressure on Burma. With Burma, the frontier is entirely undefined and the Chinese territorial claims are more substantial. In its present position, Burma might offer an easier problem to China, and therefore, might claim its first attention.

I suggest that we meet early to have a general discussion on these problems and decide on such steps as we might think to be immediately necessary and direct, quick examination of other problems with a view of taking early measure to deal with them.

Vallabhbhai Patel

Bad money creates parasitic culture in J&K – Part 3

This is the last part of the three-part series by Dr. Ajay Chrungoo, Chairman of the Panun Kashmir, a frontline organisation of Kashmiri Pandits. Dr. Chrungoo is a guest writer with Canary Trap.


By far the most important aspect of illegal economy in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in valley which has received minimum attention, is the introduction of fake Indian currency. During last decade the role of fake currency in impacting the socio-economic scene in Kashmir Valley is more than anything else.

Injection of fake currency seems to have crossed the boundaries of clandestine operations. It is becoming the part of socio-economic culture. While the drug trade, despite its enormous role in sustaining separatist campaign in valley, continues to be a social taboo in the public realm, the fake currency operating in valley does not carry the same connotations.

The interactions of people living in Jammu with Kashmiris in valley reveal the widening role of fake currency in the valley. A handicrafts trader, who after displacement shifted to Himachal, was casually told by his supplier in valley to use fake currency to increase the margin of his profits.

“How much do you earn in a month! Don’t you want to double your earnings?” Baffled he reported back, “You know it very well that our family has been doing this business for last six decades. We have done well by the grace of God. I have around 20 employees to pay. Yet I can’t imagine a way to double the earnings in my business in a short span of time. Are you talking about some magic?” He was stunned when he was told. “Take this currency (fake) and spend it gradually through your sale outlets. You will double your earnings.”

In an interaction during a party a gentleman boasted that he had during mid-nineties himself seen the money deposits from various post offices in valley done in a Jammu bank. “The post office official handed over a smaller bag to the official in the bank along with the deposits in the bigger bag.” The deposits in the bigger bag were perhaps in fake currency as per him and the money in smaller bag was genuine, meant for the officials involved in the racket.

Fake currency

Recently a gentleman had a very interesting anecdote to share. He had received Rs 30,000 from a Kashmiri Muslim in a business transaction. He went to deposit it in a bank. The notes he had received were all fake. The bank official immediately put him to enquiry. He revealed the source of the money to the bank officials. The Muslim businessman who had given the money was called to the bank premises. The businessman came to the bank with nonchalance and accepted that he had given the money to the person. While everybody else in the room was listening with amazement to his frank admission, the Khwaja got up, lifted the lid of the Bukhari (room heater) and put all the Rs 30,000 fake notes into it. He then turned to the bank official and told him that the matter was over now. Bank official thought it prudent not to report the matter to police. The gentleman who had gone to deposit the money confessed that he also felt obliged the way Khwaja relieved him of the trouble of further investigation.

These coffee table anecdotes may be exaggerations with a predominant subjective element. But all the same they provide an insight into the public discourse. Realistically they do not seem to be divorced from the hard realities which have come to the fore from time to time. On January 29, 2009, BSF seized Rs 33 lakh fake currency notes in Attari sector in Punjab along with 13 kgs of heroin. In November 2000, police arrested smugglers with heroin and fake currency Indian notes worth Rs 50,000 in Ferozpur, Punjab. In the same area a few days earlier two smugglers were arrested along with arms, narcotics and Rs 21 lakh fake currency notes. Four Kashmiri Muslim Youth were arrested on November 18, 2006 with Rs 3 lakh fake currency in the denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in Jammu city. The incidents of recovery of fake notes have been going on for years and are not a recent phenomenon. In January 2004, J&K police unearthed a mini composed unit of making fake currency in Trikuta Nagar from a police official’s son and recovered over Rs 34,000 fake currency Indian notes.

In February 2004 Delhi Police recovered fake currency worth over Rs 12 lakh from 3 persons. The equipment for printing was also seized. In March 2004, J&K police arrested three racketeers in Jammu city and recovered Rs 8.5 lakh worth fake currency from their possession. In December 2004 the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized fake currency with the value of Rs 46 lakhs and arrested four persons including two Bangladeshi conduits.

The injection of fake currency into Indian economy has started receiving some attention now. In August 2008, Uttar Pradesh police uncovered over Rs 4 crore worth of fake currency notes from two State Bank of India branches in Domariagunj. It was the largest seizure of high value currency notes and this forced a joint meeting of Intelligence Bureau, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bureau of Investigators, and Central Economic Intelligence Bureau in September 2008.

The meeting as per reports concluded that, “the problem had long slipped out of criminal activity and entered the realm of national security.”

As per estimates of Indian Intelligence leaks which have appeared in press from time to time in 2008, fake currency notes worth thousands of crores were being pumped into Indian economy per month. These notes are printed in currency printing press of Pakistan. Hence they are difficult to detect. The money earned from such ventures subsidizes the Pakistani economy. For Pakistan, economic subversion of India has become also a money minting venture.

While the role of illegal economy including fake currency has started attracting notice in rest of India, it is yet to attain the importance it deserves in the case of Jammu and Kashmir. This is despite the fact that regular seizures of narcotics, hawala money and fake currency note have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir from time to time. The issue becomes intriguing considering the fact that Jammu Kashmir continues to be the core target for the proxy war waged by Pakistan.

Army officials in J&K are on record of having said, “Earlier fake currency was handed out to allow terrorists to sustain themselves when they entered the valley. However in the past two years it has taken on a larger objective of hurting India’s economy.” Experts now admit that in Jammu and Kashmir, a mix of fake currency with genuine money is used by terror organization to pay their cadres and enlist clandestine logistic support from locals. It may be still an understatement. How fake currency and other illegal and crime economy is impacting the social milieu and affecting the legitimate productivity of the people is yet to be recognized as a crucial concern.

Professor Dipanker Sen Gupta of Jammu University comments on government policy and terrorist economy to highlight the paradox of low productivity and high consumption in the state.

“The state’s response to an economy damaged by militancy developed along predicted lines. As in North East India, the Central Government came in with packages aimed at reviving economy through grants intended to restore infrastructure as well as other parts of economy. The effect of all this was to create an economy whose State Domestic Product (SDP) defied common logic. The ultimate twist to this bizarre economic history was the revelation by National Sample Survey Organization that Jammu and Kashmir ranked highest of all states when it came to per household asset ownership in the country with Rs 10.87 lakhs per household.”

How is it possible in an economy ravaged by violence of worst kind?

The meat consumption in Kashmir is three times more than national average. The state has the capacity to meet hardly 30 percent of the demand of the meat for local consumption while it has to import nearly 70 percent from Rajasthan and Gujarat where consumption is said to be three times less than J&K. The state on an average is consuming meat of more than Rs 600 crores.

An interesting feature of the economic paradox came to fore in 2006 when the state accepted that despite referring 12,200 posts of Public Service Commission (PSC) and Subordinate Services Recruitment Board (SSRB) for advertisement, thousands of posts were lying vacant in different state government departments which include over 7600 gazetted cadre posts. How is it possible when all the respective governments have harped on unemployment as the main cause driving youth to militancy? The issue never received any public attention pointing subtly towards public involvement in such economic enterprises which are more lucrative than government jobs.

The percentage of population below poverty line in Jammu and Kashmir is 5.4 percent while the national average is 27.50 percent. The economic productivity in the state is going down. The contribution of Jammu and Kashmir to National Gross Domestic Product has decreased from 0.87 percent in 1999-2000 to 0.78 percent in 2005-06. The apparent affluence in the state and the unproductive economic status cannot be understood if interplay of illegal economy in the state is not factored into the policy making.

Illegal economy destroys entrepreneurship of society and creates a parasitic culture. The symptoms of such a state can be seen in Jammu and Kashmir. Uttar Pradesh Police, for instance, recognizes that the fake currency circulation is as high as 30 percent of the total currency notes circulation. The situation is being described as a national security threat. In J&K, despite the manifest role of narcotics, hawala money and fake currency in sustaining violence and instability, no definitive estimates of illegal economy are available. Experts say about fake currency that, “the absence of an established quantity of fake currency in circulation has led to regime of denial which has in turn prevented regulation.”

With the opening of LoC for trade one question which comes to the fore is that if the economic logic of such a trade does not suit separatists and Pakistan why do they support it?

Mirwaiz Omar Farooq gave a baffling statement about opening of cross LoC trade. “It is the first step towards Kashmir’s economic independence,” he said.

JKLF leader Yasin Malik said, ‘Freedom is closer’, after the opening of LoC trade.

The issue cannot a addressed unless there has to be a clear understanding about the importance which the pan-Islamist economic mafia attaches to the increased porosity of LoC in J&K in relation to drug grade, Hawala transfers and injection of counterfeit money.

The interest shown by Dubai based Kashmir Muslim traders in cross LoC trade has to be thoroughly analyzed. The implications of direct flight to Dubai as a starting point of international air traffic to Kashmir in the light of entrenchment of illegal economy in Kashmir needs to be looked from a wider perspective of economic subversion of India.

Click here for Bad money creates parasitic culture in J&K – Part 1
Click here for Bad money creates parasitic culture in J&K – Part 2

Bad money creates parasitic culture in J&K – Part 2

This is the second part of the three-part series by Dr. Ajay Chrungoo, Chairman of the Panun Kashmir, a frontline organisation of Kashmiri Pandits. Dr. Chrungoo is a guest writer with Canary Trap.


‘Hawala Money’ has over the years emerged as a very important component of the illegal economy in the state. Hawala has been used as a main channel to fund the separatist coffers and feed the terrorist regimes in Jammu and Kashmir. Acting as an alternative banking system for illegal transactions a very elaborate network of hawala agents as well as innovative methodologies have evolved in the state over a period of time.

A prominent Kashmir Pandit who visits Kashmir valley frequently was amazed this summer when one of his Muslim friends took him to a readymade garments shop in Srinagar city to observe the sale transactions. The KP noticed that out of many sale counters in the shop only one counter was having rush and customers had to stay in queue. He saw that after purchasing garments from the counter many of the customers tore off the brand labels after coming out of the shop. After inquiring he came to know that it was a very sophisticated hawala procedure.

Instead of sending hard cash the hawala agents send branded ready-made garments to valley. They are sold at prices lower than the market value for those brands to ensure their total sale. To disguise the operation a local brand label is pasted over the original one. The sale proceeds go to the earmarked destination. The sales outlet earns his commission which is hefty. The process takes the shape of normal business and circumvents the risk of sending huge sums of hard cash through hawala agents. Hawala operations invariably require a chain of over ground workers and subversive tentacles.

Hawala money

Hawala operations came to public view with the exposure of Jain Hawala Scandal. The Kashmir connection in this Hawala Scandal was most visible. Jamali Khan a hawala operator, GM Bhat a close aide of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and legal advisor of Hurriyat Conference and Delhi based businessman RK Jain were booked after Jamali and his wife were arrested while transporting Rs 50 lakh hawala cash to Srinagar. As per reports all the three had confessed of having pumped hawala money worth more than Rs 8 crore in Kashmir valley at the behest of Gulf, Pakistan and England based businessmen for almost three years. This hawala operation was a part of a racket operating not only in Kashmir but the entire country.

Nasir Safi Mir considered as the financial muscle of Hurriyat Conference was arrested for ferrying Rs 55 lakh and explosives in February 2006. Mir is Dubai based and owns carpet showroom and money exchange firms in Gulf. Mir was spotted publicly with Hurriyat moderate leader Mir Waiz Umar Farooq. Mir’s father was also arrested in 2001 for funding militant groups in Kashmir Valley.

The Mumbai 7/11 serial blasts were also financed through hawala channel. One Saudi Arabian operative Rizwan Ahmad Davre, an IT professional, is believed to have financed the entire operation from Riyadh by channeling funds sent by LeT Commander Azam Chema from Pakistan to Mumbai through hawala network. Davre had single-handedly bank rolled the whole operation to the tune of over Rs 1 crore that he kept sending to Faizal Sheikh, the suspected LeT chief of Mumbai.

  • Police arrested one Naseer Ahmad from Bhatt Dhar in Mendhar for being part of a hawala network busted by police in Rajouri in September 2006. He was suspected to be transferring money to Jaish-e-Mohammad network.
  • In July 2006 a militant Aijaz Hussain was arrested in South Delhi with 2.5 kgs of RDX and Rs 49 lakhs of hawala money.
  • Police in April 2006 arrested a top functionary of Hizbul Mujahideen, Mohammad Shafi Sheikh, at Doru, Sopore. He was a trained terrorist and financial controller of HM who had distributed Rs 41 lakh to various local militants.
  • In April 2006 a Hawala Network linked to Pir Panchal Regiment of Hizbul Mujahideen was busted. Its main functionary Advocate Aijaz Zaki was arrested along with his three accomplices. They would distribute money to various terrorist operatives.
  • In January 2005, Intelligence Bureau captured a hawala operator of Kashmir for smuggling cash consignments from New Delhi to Doda. Mushtaq Ahmad of Srinagar was arrested along with Rs 50,000 hawala money. Along with Mushtaq, three militants were arrested with hawala money of Rs 9.38 lakh, which was meant for terrorists at Bari Brahmna Jammu in 2005.
  • One of the main financers for terrorists in valley has been Ayub Thakur who died in 2004. He had created a UK based world Kashmir freedom movement (WKFM) for clandestinely funding secessionist movement in Jammu and Kashmir. Indian officials handed over evidence of clandestine funding by WKFM of terrorist groups in J&K to British government. The UK based Thakur’s charity failed to conceal the flow of funds into J&K for separatists and terrorists. The passage of these funds was through Standard Chartered, Grindlays Bank, and Development Credit Bank. A Srinagar based newsman recovered Rs 4,84,875 into his account in Standard Chartered Bank and Rs 11,98,00 in Development Credit Bank.
  • On November 15 2003, police revealed that HM Financer Khalid Hussain had given a consignment of Rs 10 lakh to a brother and sister in Sidhra Jammu. Ali Mohd and his sister Nadir Tabassum (Sweety) received the money but a major part of it was either looted or misappropriated. The brother sister duo was arrested. They had to transfer the money to Jamaal Din of Gool who was the deputy financial chief of Hizbul Mujahideen for Pir Panjal range.

The hawala transactions reveal not only the modus operandi of money transactions but also the elaborate network of over ground workers who are part of a elaborate subversive establishment. This establishment is gradually transforming Kashmir valley into a den of illegal economy causing irreparable damage to the social set up.

Click here for Bad money creates parasitic culture in J&K – Part 1
Click here for Bad money creates parasitic culture in J&K – Part 3

Bad money creates parasitic culture in J&K – Part 1

This is a three part series by Dr. Ajay Chrungoo, Chairman of the Panun Kashmir, a frontline organisation of Kashmiri Pandits. Dr. Chrungoo is a guest writer with Canary Trap.


On 24th January, an Enforcement Directorate official Saji Mohan was arrested by ATS Maharastra for allegedly trying to sell heroin in Oshiwara. Saji Mohan is a 1995 batch Indian Police Service Officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre. He was incharge of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Panjab during his previous posting as zonal Director Narcotics Control Bureau at Chandigarh.

Saji was arrested with 12 kgs of heroin in a club subsequent to a tip off by two other arrested persons Vicky Oberoi and Rajesh Kumar. The duo had been arrested earlier by ATS Mumbai on January 17 and 1.85 kg of heroin was recovered from them. Both were linked to notorious narcotics smuggler Parminder Singh who used to smuggle Narcotics from Pakistan and Afghanistan via the international border. After investigating Saji Mohan, ATS recovered further 25 kgs of heroin at Naigoan in Central Mumbai. Saji Mohan had served in Jammu and Kashmir Police in different capacities including Additional SP Baderwah, SP Doda, SP Ramban besides Sher-i-Kashmir Police Academy.

Close to the heels of this arrest was a 13 kg heroin haul by BSF after an encounter with smugglers near the Border outpost Pul Kanjero in Attari sector of Amritsar. Two of the smugglers involved came from the Pakistan side to deliver the consignments to the two smugglers from Indian side. The two Pakistanis after sneaking across the border crawled up to the barbed wire fence. Using ropes they tried to push the consignment through a PVC pipe laid under the fence and used by the farmers for watering agricultural fields situated between the fence and the border. A few days earlier a woman Saddiqiquan, who had made a fake passport to visit Pakistan, was arrested along with Akhtar Abbas at Attari sector and 8 kgs of heroin worth Rs 40 crores was recovered from their possession.

With these arrests the deep roots of Narcotic trade linked to Jammu and Kashmir have once again come to the fore. Unfortunately the illegal economy in the state and its implications has remained not even peripheral concern for Kashmir analysts and think tanks. How this illegal economy impacts the politics – local, regional and international – and what are its implications on society are subjects which eventually are ignored.

Regular seizures of drugs along the LoC and IB in the state, hawala money and counterfeit currency has been a feature of counter terrorism operations in the state and local papers have been regularly reporting such incidents. The discourse on Kashmir at the political level in India eschews this dimension. However experts of International repute have taken significant and serious notice of linkages between terrorism in Kashmir and its financial support through drug trade.

Yousef Bodansky while highlighting the pan Islamist linkages of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir reports about the master plan for Islamist insurgency in Caucasus and Kashmir drawn at Mogadishu, Somalia in 1996 in which Osama bin Laden and high ranking Iranian intelligence officers were also present. As per Bodansky, Javed Ashraf of ISI was handed over the task of providing arms and ammunition and paying for the transportation of Islamist fighters from the training camps in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon and Sudan to the new Islamist Jihad fronts in Chechnya and Kashmir.

Harnessing drug financial system to support such an endeavor has been the earliest and readily available channel given the poppy fields of Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan.

Drugs and Narcotics

The narcotics hauls by police in Jammu and Kashmir provide an insight into the magnitude of the problem. The arrest of Vicky Oberoi, Rajesh Kumar and official of enforcement director Saji Mohan along with heroin provides a glimpse into entrenchment of narcotic cartels. But they are not isolated cases.

  • On 15 November 2008 Ferozpur police recovered 2 kgs of heroin worth Rs 10 crores. The Jammu and Kashmir Police cracked a well knit racket of Indo-Pak trans-border narcotics smugglers operating from Jammu and Sailkot districts. Three smugglers all residents of Arnia were arrested. During interrogation it was revealed that consignments of pure heroine totaling 60-65 kg were transferred to India in one year alone. The value of such quantity is Rs 65 crores.
  • Twelve kgs of poppy straw was recovered by Samba Police on August 11, 2006 along with 4 kgs of charas. The poppy straw or husk is a local variety of narcotics called as Bhukki which is consumed mostly by the drivers in North India. Both charas and Bhukki are grown in Kashmir valley.
  • In December 2006 BSF recovered 25 kgs of heroin along the international Border in RS Pura area of Jammu sector. In July 2006 four kgs of charas was recovered from a smuggler in Doda town.
  • J&K Police recovered 26 kgs of poppy husk (Bhukki) and 6.5 kgs of charas in Talab Tillo area of Jammu city on June 3, 2005. In April month of the same year more than 10 kgs of charas was recovered from a drug peddler in Kud, Udhampur.
  • In November 2004 in one of the biggest narcotic hauls in Jammu city the police recovered 11 kgs of heroin worth Rs 11 crores. Heroin was Pakistan-made and was to be transferred to Delhi. In January 2002, Phagwara police arrested five persons including two surrendered militants of Hizbul Mujahideen with 20 kgs of charas.
  • In May 2003 Narcotics Control Bureau Delhi arrested Mohd. Amin Jaffer of Anantnag, a member of Al-Jihad with 25 kg of charas.
  • The narcotic hauls during last few years given above are neither exhaustive nor complete. However it provides an ample evidence of the state of affairs. While areas adjacent to LoC and IB in Jammu sector are mainly involved in heroin smuggling. the charas and the local variety of poppy husk Bhukki is mainly produced in Kashmir valley. Reports of poppy cultivation in areas of South Kashmir and hinter land of Wullar lake have also surfaced from time to time.
  • The evidence available of the narcotics trade in the state is only the tip of the iceberg with number of drug addicts increasing both in Kashmir valley as well as Jammu. The menace is making inroads into the society.
  • The death of a 12th class student in mysterious circumstances at Dalgate Srinagar in January 2004 brought the extent of drug culture into the society in Kashmir valley to the fore. The dead body of the student Mehfooz Ahmad Khan, son of Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Khan of Sanat Nagar area had been recovered by a patrol party of Ram Munshi Bagh station from a parked Maruti car. Police had recovered the identity card of one Shuja Rasheed who was a son of Deputy SP, from the car. The people suspected the death had taken place due to overdose of drugs.

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