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it .86 Responsibility for the new operations, Noon told Major-General Khan, had
been entrusted to a policeman
Deputy Inspector-General Mian Anwar Ali.
Indian counter-intelligence officials read the new wave of covert war as integra
linked with the political chaos initiated by the palace coup of 1953. Sheikh
Abdullah s summary removal from office, Nath wrote, had:
started a new and more intensive phase of Pakistani inspired subversive
activity. The relations and close associates of Sheikh Mohammad
Abdullah who now felt frustrated in their designs, took increasingly to
under-ground subversive activity. Pakistani authorities also pumped in
money, subversive literature, arms, ammunition and explosives on an
ever increasing scale into the Valley through such disgruntled elements
and paid agents. A so-called war council was constituted to organize
all these activities.87
Investigation of this affair, conducted by officials of the Indian Intelligence
Bureau and the Jammu and Kashmir Police officer Ghulam Qadir Ganderbali,
was to emerge as what is known as the Kashmir Conspiracy Case
the most controversial chapter in the troubled relationship between New Delhi
and Sheikh Abdullah. Charges of criminal conspiracy, under Section 121 of the
Ranbir Penal Code, were filed on May 21, 1958 against 25 people, including
Mirza Afzal Beg and five serving Pakistani Intelligence Bureau personnel. Sheikh
Abdullah s name was added to the list of those accused on October 23, 1958.
I shall return to the several lucid critiques of the criminal charges against
Abdullah, and to the political circumstances that led to the prosecution eventua
being dropped. This part of my narrative, however, is concerned with events
as they were understood by counter-intelligence officials within Jammu and
Mirza Afzal Beg was released from jail in 1954. It was, the Report on Pakistani
Organized Subversion, Sabotage and Infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir baldly
informs us, a political decision, intended to ensure those close to Sheikh Abdul
would at least by proxy have the opportunity to participate in the deliberations
of the Constituent Assembly .88 As I have pointed out earlier, others have offered
more sinister motives, notably the claim that Beg s release was intended to
inflame Hindu chauvinist fears, and thus legitimize Bakshi s rule among the
Dogras of Jammu. Whatever the truth, he formed the Jammu and Kashmir
Plebiscite Front on August 9, 1955, with the avowed purpose of compelling India
to hold a referendum.
Anti-India pamphlets and posters began streaming into Jammu and Kashmir
across the Cease-Fire Line. So, according to Indian intelligence, did four
groups of covert operatives, all acting under the command of Khan Mohammad
Khan, a Deputy Superintendent of Police in the Pakistan Intelligence Bureau.
Three operatives, Bagh Ali, Ismail and Rahim, were tasked with operating