Unrest in the vale of Kashmir has been a discerning phenomenon in last twelve months.
In the Lok Sabha of India, the largest democracy in the world, a member recently asked if the unrest in the Valley has reached a ‘dangerous’ situation.
In this article we analyze:-
- Cases of stone pelting and terrorist related incidents in recent past
- Economic loss to the state of J&K arising out of the rise in terror related incidents
- Various methods being deployed to raise funds for financing terrorism in J&K
- Checking the terror related funding from sources outside India
- Strategy to deal with Terror Financing and Money Laundering
- Working towards permanent solution to Kashmir issue, may take time: Rajnath Singh
- Violence in the Kashmir peaked after killing of Hizbul commander Wani in July 2016
- Some 100 civilians died in the ensuing unrest that continued for several months.
- Killing of another Hizbul’s militant Sabzar Bhat triggered widespread protests recently.
According to the Jammu and Kashmir government:-
- 2,690 cases have been registered in connection with stone pelting incidents in Kashmir
- 16 have been lodged for snatching of weapons till the end 2016
- As many as 463 people were also detained under Public Safety Act
- 318 still under detention as on December 29 under Public Safety Act
- 76 people, besides 2 policemen, lost lives during unrest in Valley upto December 2016
- Killing of Hizbul’s Wani triggered protests, law & order disturbances in parts of valley
TERROR ATTACKS ALONG INDO-PAK BORDER
Details of terrorist incidents in J&K for the corresponding period before and after the surgical strike of last year are as under:-
|1st April 2016 to 30th Sep 2016||Six Months||193|
|1st Oct 2016 to 31st March 2017||Six Months||155|
The details of infiltration and terrorisrts killed for the last three years and the current year is as under:-
|Incident||2014||2015||2016||2017 (Upto February)|
|Estimated net infiltration||65||33||119||9|
ECONOMIC LOSS due to unrest in J&K
According to the Jammu and Kashmir’s Economic Survey:-
- Total number of tourists in Kashmir Valley in 2013: 15.15 lakhs
- Total number of tourists in Kashmir Valley in 2016: 6.2 lakhs
- In 2013, the number of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims : 3.53 lakhs
- In 2016, the number of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims : 2.2 lakhs
The 2016 survey noted that even though the tourist season, which started during 2016 in April, was in full swing up to end of 7 July, 2016, the remaining about 4 months remained completely tense and registered closure of all activities due to turmoil resulting in almost zero arrival of tourists in the Valley.
- The disappearance of tourists in the Valley during four peak months resulted in loss
- Loss caused to business of hoteliers, restaurants, houseboats, handicrafts, poniwallas, transporters and shikara wallas etc.
- Due to hartals, stone throwing & curfews, a loss of 64 percent time of tourist season
- Economic loss have been caused to economy of state due to hartals/curfews in Valley
- Economic loss caused to economy of J&K due to hartals/curfews estimated Rs 16k cr
Checking terror funding in Kashmir
It had been widely reported in Indian media since May of 2017 that Government keeps a close watch to check terror funding in Kashmir
- Centre is keeping a close watch on illegal flow of funds to fuel militancy in J&K
- Action is being taken by security agencies in such instances
- All terror related incidents, including terror funding, are being monitored by agencies
- Appropriate action is being taken: Home Ministry spokesperson Ashok Prasad
- Police & central paramilitary forces trying to bring back normalcy in J&K
- J&K has been hit by unrest
- All efforts are being made to bring back normalcy
- The central government is providing all help to the state government
- NIA estimates that Pakistan-based terror groups finance terrorism in J&K
- Pakistan-based groups generating millions in donations through charity organisations
Pak outfits have been supporting terrorists and funding terrorism in Kashmir:-
- Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), a charity run by terror outfits JuD & LeT
- Al Rehmat Trust backed by terrorists group Jaish-e- Mohammed (JeM)
- These outfits collect donations from people in Pakistan
- Outfits pass on money to finance terror in Kashmir through their over ground workers
- ‘Al Rehmat Trust’ distributes pamphlets to raise funds for sacrificing animals during Eid and after collecting the money, they finance terrorism.
- FIF, one of the major and fastest growing NGO in Pakistan
- FIF collects money from people and uses them to fund terrorists.
- Groups collect millions in donations through crowd funding in name of social service
Terror funding and National Investigation Agency raids on separatists
- On June 3 the NIA conducted 22 raids at multiple locations
- These raids were conducted at Delhi, Haryana and in Kashmir
- Subject matter of investigation is entire chain of players behind financing of terrorism
- Raids are related to funding of terrorist activities by Pakistan-based terror outfits
- Cash & incriminating material such as Lashkar-e-Tayiba letterheads were seized
- On June 2 the PM in Russia had called for choking terror funding
- “Terrorists don’t print currency, but some countries facilitate their financing through money laundering”: PM
- PM pushed for early decision on Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism
- CCIT is a resolution pending before the United Nations for the last 40 years
- Demonetisation has choked terror funding, borders are now secure: Def. Min Nov 27
- NIA is probing funding of separatists & use of these funds in fuelling unrest in Kashmir
- Separatists in Kashmir have been receiving money from Pak through hawala route
- Businessmen in Delhi act as conduits to push this money into Kashmir
Methods being employed for raising finances for terrorism in J&K include:-
- Separatists were allegedly receiving funds to carry out subversive activities
- Subversive activities include pelting stones at security forces & damaging public property
- Burning schools and government establishments has also been resorted to by separatists
- Bank accounts and lockers revealed during investigation have been ordered to be frozen
- Many hawala dealers and traders in the national capital were also raided by the NIA
- Among those raided by NIA were Altaf Fantoosh, son-in-law of Syed Ali Shah Geelani
- No separatist leader from the Valley has been named in the FIR registered by the NIA
- Hurriyat Conference, Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashker-e- Taiba mentioned in NIA’s FIR
- Pakistan-based chief of Jamaat-ul Dawah Hafeez Saeed has also been mentioned
- First time NIA conducted raids against separatist leaders in Kashmir.
- Earlier, such raids have been conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2002
- The CBI had then raided Geelani’s residence for hawala funding.
- PMLA & UAPA have provisions to combat money laundering & terrorist financing
Home Minister of India remarked that :-
- The probe was headed in the right direction
- “I assure you that we will uproot Pak-sponsored terror from J&K & establish peace”: HM
- Infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir dropped 45% since surgical strikes last September
- At least 368 militants were killed between 2014 and 2017 as compared to 239 in 2011-13
Strategy to deal with Terror Financing and Money Laundering
- The Government has a well established strategy and institutional mechanism to effectively deal with
- Terrorist financing
- Money laundering
Effective legal instrumentalities to combat offences:-
- The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967(UAPA)
- The Prevention of Money laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA)
- A special Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Cell has been created in the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2011,
- The Cell to coordinate with Central intelligence/ enforcement agencies
- The Cell also coordinates with different state law enforcement agencies
- The aim is to present an integrated approach to tackle the problem of terror funding.
- Terror Funding & Fake Currency Cell set up in NIA to investigate terror funding cases.
Strengthening Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967
- Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 has been strengthened by amendments in 2013
- Enlarging scope of proceeds of terrorism to include property intended to be used for terrorism
- Enlarging scope of Section 17 relating to punishment for raising funds for terrorist act, by including within its scope raising of funds both from legitimate or illegitimate sources by a terrorist organization, terrorist gang or by an individual terrorist,
- Amended UAPA Act includes within its scope offences by companies, societies or trusts
Strengthening the Prevention of Money Laundering Act
PMLA has also been strengthened in 2013 by incorporating provisions relating to
- Removing monetary threshold for schedule offences
- Strengthening confiscation & provisional attachment powers with regard to money laundering investigation
- Covering new financial institutions, designated non-financial business and professions within the scope of PMLA
- Enhancing powers of Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to access information from banks and financial institutions
- Introduction of broad range of sanctions under PMLA including sanctions against designated Directors and employees of reporting entities
- Thus, both PMLA and UAPA have sufficiently stringent provisions to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
- The Central and State Law Enforcement Agencies have registered a total of 217 FIRs and 132 charge sheets have been filed in various Courts in terror financing cases since 2006 till date. These also include 11 cases investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
- The Financial Acton Task Force (FATF) team from Paris, France had visited India in 2011 to monitor compliance of India’s Action Plan with FATF standards
- Since then India has complied with all FATF requirements and Action Plan items.
- It has been accepted & approved by FATF in its Plenary Meeting held in June, 2013