Srinagar, September 7: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) again intensifies its efforts to curb terror funding and subversive activities in the valley as per the leads they are getting. Notably, the central probe agency has carried out searches at 27 places in various parts of the Kashmir valley and New Delhi that started from Wednesday night and continues till today in connection with the terror funding case against separatists and others.
During the massive raids, NIA conducted search at 27 places in various parts of the Kashmir Valley and New Delhi including the residence of Hurriyat leader Aga Hassan. Also, NIA continued search at 9 locations currently including Nowhatta, MR Gunj, Srinagar, Kupwara, Anantnag and Budgam etc.
NIA seized over 2 crore rupees in cash with various digital devices including laptops, mobile phones and hard drives. Also, diaries, pertaining to contacts of alleged hawala operators, traders, ledger books containing accounts of cross-LOC trade of various trading companies have been recovered. Meanwhile, the central probe agency have also arrested two stone-pelters named as Kamran Yusuf and Javed Ahmad Bhat in terror funding case, who have revealed of using WhatsApp to gather protesters.
An NIA spokesman said in New Delhi that during the operations, houses and business establishments of those suspected of channelising funds to fuel secessionist and anti-India activities were searched. The spokesman further said that some details of bank accounts of Jammu and Kashmir were also recovered. “Travel documents of some entities indicating their visits to the UAE have also been recovered and some of the suspects were being questioned about the recoveries made from them,” the spokesman added.
Earlier, on September 4, NIA summoned Jammu and Kashmir High Court lawyer Mian Abdul Qayoom who is also a President Kashmir Bar Association to appear before it on 6 September at its headquarters in New Delhi in alleged terror funding case. On the other side, top separatists including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar and Yasin Malik denounced raids and also announced programme of staging protest at NIA Headquarters in New Delhi on Sep 9.
Earlier, NIA arrested a businessman from Srinagar Zahoor Ahmad Watali who was also a close aide of separatists Geelani allegedly involved in terror funding case and anti-India operations. The arrest of Srinagar based businessman Zahoor Ahmad Watali comes following the searches conducted by the central probe agency at multiple locations in Jammu and Kashmir belonging to his relatives and employees.
The raids were conducted after the questioning of Geelani's sons. The NIA sought details about the financial transactions from Naeem and Naseem. The court also gave the judicial custody of Naeem and Naseem to NIA in money laundering case. Several other Hurriyat leaders who have been questioned in connection with this case have given details about the funding. All evidence points towards a major role played allegedly by Geelani, the investigations have found.
The action of NIA comes after the probe agency raided the house and office of Devinder Singh Behl in money laundering case and arrested him from his residence. Devinder Singh Behl is a businessman and close aide of Syed Ali Shah Geelani allegedly involved in the money laundering case and funded anti-national elements to create unrest in Kashmir.
These raids and arrests by the NIA is part of its investigation in a case registered on 30th of May in which the leader of the Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa and banned terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafiz Saeed, was named as an accused. The NIA has arrested seven persons in the case of alleged funding of terror and subversive activities to fuel unrest in the Kashmir Valley.
Hafeez Saeed, a Pakistan-based chief of the Jamaat-ud Dawa, the front of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba, has been named in the FIR as an accused, in addition to organizations such as the Hurriyat Conference, Hizbul Mujaheedin and Dukhtaran-e-Milat. The NIA in the same context had also searched the premises of others like Shahid-ul-Islam, an aide of Farooq's, who heads the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference. The NIA had recovered some account books, Rs 2 crore in cash and letterheads of banned terror groups, including the LeT and the Hizbul Mujahideen, during its searches.
In 2002, the Income Tax department had raided the establishments of some separatist leaders, including Geelani, and seized cash and documents. Interestingly, this the first time since the rise of militancy in Kashmir in the early 1990s, NIA had carried out raids in connection with the funding of separatists.