Turkey link emerges in threats to media: Intel agencies

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Representational ImageDarwin Laganzon from Pixabay


New Delhi: In the backdrop of recent threats to journalists, an intelligence report noted that an LeT militant Mukthar Baba, who now operates from Turkey, was the mastermind behind the threats to scribes from J&K for being informers.

According to Police, an under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) has been registered and investigations launched.

Quoting intelligence sources it said that an intelligence assessment based on inputs from central intelligence agencies suggest that Baba, visits Pakistan frequently from Turkey and is the kingpin in building and propagating false narrative, grooming youngsters in Kashmir

for militancy under the banner of the TRF, an offshoot of LeT.

The intelligence sources said that Baba, a resident of Nowgam Srinagar had escaped to Ankara, Turkey and has built a network of informers from within journalists on the basis of whose inputs he has threatened the local journalists.

According to the intelligence sources, he remained affiliated with Hizbullah in the 1990s and was shunted out from the outfit after he was found involved in selling 40 AK series rifles belonging to Hizbullah to another outfit.

“Thereafter, he remained associated with Masrat Alam-led Muslim League and is notorious for his coercive means to compel journalists and media outlets in Kashmir to toe a particular line in reporting and opinions. He has always been close to various agencies while being active in Srinagar with several secessionist outfits. Baba has also been active on social media, making all out efforts to push the narrative at the behest of hostile agencies. Baba, 55, had worked as a journalist with four Kashmir-based organisations earlier and is very familiar with the media environment in Kashmir,” the intelligence sources said. “He was lodged in Jammu’s Kot Bhalwal Jail for quite some time in 1990.”

According to the intelligence sources, Baba was placed in Turkey in 2018 by Jodha Carin Fischer, an American national of German origin who operated in J&K as a deep penetration ISI agent for almost eight years before her cover was blown and she was forcibly deported out. Earlier, an FIR into the case was filed under Sections 13 of the UAPA, and Sections 505, 153B, 124A and 506 of the IPC in Shergari Police Station.

According to intelligence sources, the central agencies have identified more than six individuals on the basis of objective evidence and recommended a mission-based approach to expansively identify these elements, collect evidence by way of mapping their properties, their telecommunication usage, and their travel within the country and abroad to provide an effective response to the challenge.

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