The Army's Technical Services Division (TSD) had allegedly tapped the phones of J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and of his colleagues in the Cabinet during the protracted faceoff in 2011 between the government and the Army over the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, sources close to the chief minister have told The Indian Express.
These sources said that the snooping was first picked up by the J&K Police in Jammu, and the chief minister was subsequently informed. Sources said it was a DIG-level officer of the J&K Police who apprised his senior officers about alleged surveillance activity being carried out from the Sunjwan camp in Jammu and a private house rented by the TSD in a housing colony at Channi Himmat in Jammu.
A police team was deployed to cross-check, and it came back with the confirmation, the DIG-level officer told The Indian Express on the condition that he not be named. Sources said the snooping was also confirmed to the chief minister later by a senior Army officer.
In October 2011, the then National Conference spokesman and Omar Abdullah’s uncle Mustafa Kamal accused the Army of carrying out attacks — two grenade attacks had targeted police and paramilitary forces in Srinagar, a grenade had been lobbed in Shopian — “to stall revocation of AFSPA”. Although Kamal retracted the statement, the NC leadership was convinced that efforts were being made to destabilise the government.
The strained relationship between the Army and the state government peaked in November 2011 when the 15 Corps commander gave an hour-long presentation to J&K’s top security grid Unified Headquarters chaired by the Chief Minister where he said that the country will be forced to give “independence” to the state by 2016 if