Abdul Rashid Sheikh, commonly known as Engineer Rashid, of the Awami Itehaad Party, today dropped a bombshell saying that he was offered huge amount of money to create a ruckus on a range of issues, including demonetization, continuous LoC shelling, the refusal of New Delhi to hold talks with Pakistan, un-abetted human rights violations in Kashmir, and attacks by Gaw Rakshaks in different parts of India.
Addressing a press conference here at a local hotel, Er Rashid said, “Even I was approached, with an offer of huge funding, by the so called Indian business tycoons, who have now proved to be under cover journalists carrying the sting operation of Kashmiri leaders.”
Er Rashid said that he however refused the offer because of his principles even though he didn’t doubt the Indian businessmen then. “I forget the issue but recalled it only after it was disclosed that some people have carried a sting operation on some leaders and that is why he wanted to share the story with the people.”
Challenging the New Delhi-based TV channel to make the conversation with him public, Er Rashid said, “Just days before commencing of Budget session of state Assembly in Jammu this year, our Party Spokesman Inam-u-Nabi introduced one Muzaffar Ahmad Matoo, a resident of Baramulla who requested me to have an important meet with the representatives of business tycoons in Delhi who wanted to discuss many issues of mutual interest. He offered free air tickets and accommodation in Delhi. However on my refusal to visit Delhi, Muzafar requested that the said persons are visiting Srinagar and want to meet many people including myself. It was in the first week of Mrach 2017 when at the request of middle man Muzaffar, I along with Inam-u-Nabi visited Hotel Sarour around05:00 PM to meet the unknown guests. One of the corporate representatives introduced himself as Jamsheed, the representative of anti-BJP corporate lobby.”
Er Rashid said that Muzaffar in his introduction introduced them as representatives of business tycoons. “Jamsheed offered huge financial assistance for our party and in return wanted to hold protests against demonetization, continuous LOC shelling, denial of New Delhi to hold talks with Pakistan, un-abetted human rights violations in Kashmir and attacks by Gaw Rakshaks in different parts of India.”
“However, on my persistent answer that I follow the voice of my conscience and don’t believe in accepting money for raising genuine issues, the so called representatives of business corporate who also claimed to be sponsoring various Teams in IPL, tried to persuade me to help them in exchanging a huge sum comprising old currency notes, which was again rejected by me,” he said.
Er Rashid challenged national TV channel to play those audio and video recordings, if it truly believe in investigative journalism, which has been proved now more an immoral operation, ‘just to defame Kashmiris and their indigenous movement’.
He also displayed text messages of the middle man, requesting consistently for the appointment. He also released the phone numbers of the undercover journalists and challenged the particular TV channel to “prove him wrong or otherwise should not abuse and defame Kashmiris by trying to prove as if every Kashmiri is an agent and making money out of the ongoing mass resistance.”
He condemned the behaviour of a journalist who ignoring all ethics and moral codes of journalism and entered Yasin Malik’s residence just to provoke him and fetch some fabricated story.