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IndiaHow Modi-Shah Defeated The Stone-Pelters In Kashmir

How Modi-Shah Defeated The Stone-Pelters In Kashmir


‘Before Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power we had the same police force, same army, same CRPF and the same BSF.'

needed a mahasevak who could take on the terror elements working in the country.'

Altaf Thakur, spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party's Jammu and Kashmir unit, has been holding high the party flag in the Valley for the last two decades.

He joined the party after then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee lost the general elections in 2004 and has remained a committed party worker since.

Thakur has been attacked by terrorists for his association with the BJP; he was also kidnapped, but he fought off his kidnappers.

Asked why he joined the BJP in the Kashmir Valley, Altaf Thakur tells Syed Firdaus Ashraf/, “I like the BJP's ideology of nation first, therefore I joined them.”


How was the stone-pelting problem tackled by the government after Article 370 was revoked?

You need to understand first there was an ecosystem of stone-pelting that was at work.

First they were operating from Pakistan and secondly from countries like Dubai and Middle-Eastern countries from where they used to send money through hawala channels. There were businessmen and property dealers who used to run this stone-pelting by getting money from abroad. This money used to reach Yasin Malik, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Asiya Andrabi, Shabbir Shah and others like them.

These people created a second line and third line of followers and everyone was distributed money accordingly. They had a set formula.


An entire operation was running systematically prior to the revoking of Article 370.

What about local intelligence? Did they not have an idea how these people were operating?

J&K was ruled by two political parties. One was ruling and another was in the Opposition. So, whoever was in the Opposition, they used to systematically take advantage of the system and do stone-pelting to defame the government.

Hawala money was sent and stone-pelting parties were distributed according to their rank and file. Leaders like Masarrat Alam, who is in jail now, was the headmaster of the stone-pelting movement.

What the government did was to find out leaders like Masarrat Alam and put them in jail. They also found out each and every businessman in Kashmir who got money through hawala and arrested them, and therefore stone-pelting incidents stopped.

We broke the backbone of the economy of stone-pelters by catching anyone who was involved.


How many Kashmiri businessmen were involved in the stone-pelting business and got money through hawala?

They run in thousands. We have raided thousands of businesses in Kashmir who were linked to stone-pelters. Terror funding had become the biggest industry of Jammu and Kashmir. They became big at a time when either the Conference was ruling the state or Mehbooba Mufti's Peoples Democratic Party.


How many people used to work on the ground as stone-pelters and how much would they earn?

It used to vary from person to person. There was grading in that system. The group leader used to get more money. The actual stone-pelter on the ground was hired for Rs 1,000 on rent for one hour.

This was all pre-planned. They had over ground workers who used to manage all these terrorist operations.


These youngsters never thought of their future, about what they are doing and where it will end?

These stone-pelters' religious sentiments were aroused. They were told if they die they will get 72 houris in heaven. They stopped dreaming about this 's houris and were dreaming about next life houris.

Pakistan also played an important role in the stone-pelting system. They used to send drugs through drones which used to land in the stone-pelters' homes. These stone-pelters got addicted to brown sugar and cocaine. These drugs were never to be found in Kashmir earlier, but Pakistan ensured that these stone-pelters got addicted to it.

These drug addict stone-pelters who were dying because of lack of drugs, were supplied drugs on condition that they pelt stones for which they were paid Rs 1,000 per hour.


Do you feel the instability in Pakistan has helped resolve the Kashmir issue as Kashmiris are seeing that Pakistan is a good for nothing State?

Bhikaristan (beggar country) is on the verge of break-up. They are in no state to speak about Jammu and Kashmir. They were growing snakes in their backyard and those same snakes are biting them today.

Kashmiris have understood that Pakistan is an unstable country. They get one kilo of chicken for Rs 700 in Pakistan. This is the state of their inflation. Thanks to social media, every child in J&K knows the condition of Pakistan as a country on global standards.

J&K's budget is more than that of Pakistan. Everyone in Kashmir knows Pakistan is going around the world with a begging bowl and no one is willing to give alms to them. Pakistan has officially become Bhikaristan.


Is it true that if a stone-pelter was caught his father was terminated from a government job?

No, we did not do it this way. We sacked the white collar job people who were sitting in government jobs and supporting terrorism.

Another thing that we did was when we found out the homes that gave shelter to terrorists, those homes were seized by the government.

It was because of this that terrorism came under control. We started this after 2019.

Let me clarify, we also came across cases where terrorists kept families as hostage and operated from their homes so we never seized such properties. We only seized the homes of people who knowingly gave shelter to terrorists. This made a lot of difference on the ground in fighting terrorism.


This is a huge task because at the end of the day so many people were involved in terrorism, how did you tackle it?

Be it the NIA (National Investigation Agency), Jammu and Kashmir police or Intelligence Bureau or any other government agencies, they all worked very hard to control stone-pelting and terror incidents.

Till this day, we have not been able to root out this menace completely in spite of us working day and night. Every day some new or old sleeper cell of the terror network comes out in front of us.


What has happened to the azaadi call that was a common sight in Kashmir? How did that stop?

The azaadi slogan for Kashmir was only a fight for money. The biggest leader of these azaadi people was Geelani, his children are doing government jobs. Today, Geelani's grand daughter is saying that my grandfather's ideology was wrong. She says her grandfather used to send Kashmiris on the wrong path and she herself is a proud Indian.


Do you feel these stone-pelters when they grow up will get jobs?

Yes, for sure. They have given up stone-pelting and there are tremendous job opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir.

Our state got 2.5 crore (25 million) tourists last year. You see, Kashmir's economy has got a boost in a big way. Tourist vehicle owners who used to sit at home with no business because of stone-pelters have no time now. There is huge influx of tourists in J&K today. Today, Kashmir is really a jannat (heaven).


Whom will you give credit to for putting an end to stone pelting?

Before Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power we had the same police force, same army, same CRPF and the same BSF. India needed a mahasevak who could take on the terror elements working in the country.

It is only Modiji who can suppress anti-national voices in India. The other person after him is Amit Shahji.

During Dr Manmohan Singhji's time peace was bought in pieces. The then government used to pay money to Yasin Malik, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Shabbir Shah to stop stone-pelting for 15 days.

Peace was bought during Dr Manmohan Singh's time but it is only Modiji and Amit Shah who have really installed peace in J&K.



The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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