Srinagar civic official, lawyer & cleric among 5 held for intimidation through Pakistan-sponsored blog | India News – Times of India

SRINAGAR: The secretary of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, a senior lawyer from Poonch and a cleric were among five suspects arrested in J&K on Saturday as part of a crackdown on an intimidation network linked to a Pakistan-sponsored blog and targeted at journalists, activists, politicians and even government officials.
Civic official Muhammad Akbar Sofi, his daughter Nazish Yasrab Rehmani and son Tabish Akbar Rehmani allegedly worked together with the suspected kingpins, Peerzada Raqif Makhdoomi from Batpora in Hazratbal and Poonch-based lawyer Javed Khalid, IGP (Kashmir range) Vijay Kumar said.
The accused had been running the blog “”, which J&K police claim is sponsored by Pakistan’s ISI, from “war rooms” spread across properties in Srinagar’s Sanat Nagar and Raj Bagh, Batpura in Hazratbal, Poonch in Jammu and Arihal in south Kashmir’s Pulwama.
“It is worth mentioning that Kashmir was being run by a white-collar militant syndicate whose task is to prepare a strategic hit list of government officers, journalists, social activists, lawyers and political functionaries who were assessed to be responsible for harming the overarching objectives of furthering and sustaining the Pakistani-supported militant programme, with the eventual aim of secession of Jammu and Kashmir from the Indian Union and its eventual annexation with Pakistan,” IGP Kumar said.
Armed with search warrants, police teams raided all the suspected premises and seized scores of mobile phones, digital storage devices and computing platforms. “In one house alone, 32 mobile phones, a tablet, two laptops, four hard disks, seven memory cards and one dongle were confiscated,” Kumar said.
In 2018, shortly after journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead, the blog had mentioned the names of several senior scribes working for national print and television channels and also published their pictures in an alleged attempt to incite terror outfits to target them.
While Sofi’s daughter and son were arrested from the family’s recently purchased house in Sanat Nagar, the municipal corporation secretary was picked up from the Raj Bagh residence of his second wife early Saturday.
Lawyer Khalid was engaged to be married to Sofi’s daughter Nazish after Eid al-Adha or Bakra Eid later this week.
The police expect the seized laptops and storage devices to provide clues to the conspiracy behind the murder of journalist Bukhari, advocate Babar Qadri, and Satpal Nischal, a 65-year-old jeweller who had acquired a domicile certificate last year.

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