4 held for dangling MBBS seats in Pak to Kashmiris , using money to fund militancy

Srinagar, Aug 18: The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday said it has arrested four separatist leaders for ‘selling’ MBBS seats in Pakistan to Kashmiri students and using the money to fund militancy.

An official spokesperson said the arrested persons have been identified as Mohammed Akbar Bhat alias Zafar Bhat, who is chairman of the salvation movement, Fatima Shah, Mohammed Abdullah Shah, and Shabzar Ahmed Sheikh. “Brother of Shah went to Pakistan in 90s and is working as a facilitator of Hurriyat,” he said.

The Counter Intelligence (Kashmir), a branch of CID Department of J&K Police, had registered a case in July 2020 after receiving information that several unscrupulous persons, including some Hurriyat Conference leaders, were in collusion with some educational consultancies selling MBBS and other professional course seats in different colleges and universities in Pakistan to Kashmiri students.

He said the investigation revealed that the money collected from the parents of the aspiring students was used to support and fund militancy and separatism in different ways. Accordingly, a case was registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The spokesperson said during further investigation it surfaced that many MBBS and other professional degree seats were given to those students, who were close family members or relative of killed militants. “It was also revealed that quota allotted to individual Hurriyat Conference leaders was sold to desperate parents, who wanted their children to get MBBS and other professional degrees,” he said.

He said on average, the cost of a seat was between Rs 10 to 12 lakh. However, he said in some cases, the price was brought down on the intervention of Hurriyat leaders. “An amount of Rs 4 crore per annum was being generated by selling seats,” he added.

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