News, Politics

Terror funding in Kashmir and NIA raids

Terror funds: NIA raids 12 premises in Kashmir

  • NIA on August 17 searched 12 places in Kashmir
  • Searches were conducted in connection with the ongoing terror funding investigation
  • Homes of two lawyers and a government official were among those that were searched
  • One of the advocates Mohammad Shafi Reshi is affiliated to Hurriyat’s S A S Geelani faction
  • Mohammad Shafi Reshi is the uncle of PDP legislator Yasir Reshi
  • NIA sleuths and officials said the searches — conducted simultaneously at :-
  1. Sanatnagar (Baramulla)
  2. Parimpora (Baramulla)
  3. Tarhama (Baramulla)
  4. Mazhama (Baramulla)
  5. Machipora (Kupwara)
  6. Bakhihaker (Kupwara)
  • Searches have led to documents related to hawala funding
  • An official said the teams scanned documents and other items for three to eight hours
  • In some places, the NIA team spent more than six to seven hours
  • Houses belonging to Shafi Reshi and Zahoor Watali had yielded suspect financial records
  • Some of documents seized relate to receipt of money from suspected foreign sources
  • Some of documents seized relate to distribution of money to certain persons in Kashmir
  • Separatists & some in Valley’s business fraternity have termed these raids as political vendetta
  • Raids is meant to break resolve of the so called ‘leadership’

Enforcement Directorate arrests separatist leader Shabir Shah

  • Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah was arrested by ED on July 25
  • Arrest was in connection with over a decade-old money laundering case against him
  • The case relates to allegations of terror financing
  • Shah was arrested in Srinagar
  • The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had issued multiple summons to Shah
  • Shah never deposed before the central investigating agency
  • A Delhi court had issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against the separatist leader
  • The agency had issued several summons to Shah over last few years
  • Summons were in pursuance of a August 2005 case
  • In the case Delhi Police’s Special Cell had arrested Mohammed Aslam Wani (35)
  • Mohammed Aslam Wani was an alleged hawala dealer
  • Mohammed Aslam Wani had claimed that he passed on Rs 2.25 crore to Shah
  • Shah in past had said that ED case against him was “politically motivated”
  • ED had registered a criminal case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Shah
  • Wani was arrested allegedly with Rs 63 lakh received through ‘hawala’ channels
  • The money was received from Middle East
  • Wani was arrested wait a large cache of ammunition on August 26, 2005
  • During questioning, Wani had told police that Rs 50 lakh was to be delivered to Shah
  • Wani had told that money was to be delivered to Jaish-e-Mohammad commander in Srinagar
  • Wani claimed that he delivered around Rs 2.25 cr to Shah & his kin over past year
  • ED, sources said, wants to probe “proceeds of crime” of alleged terror financing in this case

Jammu-Kashmir terror funding case: NIA conducts raids

  • National Investigation Agency (NIA) on July 30 conducted raids at two places
  • NIA conducts raid at places belonging to Syed Geelani’s close aide
  • Raids & summons have been in connection with probe in terror funding cases in Valley
  • The two places belong to a close aide of separatist leader Geelani
  • This is second raid in Jammu in connection with the case of terror funding
  • Earlier, the agency had raided a businessman in connection with terror funding in Jammu
  • NIA issued summon to Naseem, second son of Geelani
  • Naseem heads separatist conglomerate Tehreek-e-Hurriya
  • Naseem has been asked to appear before the agency on August 2
  • Geelani’s elder son Nayeem has been summoned to the NIA headquarters on July 31
  • Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah has already been arrested by NIA
  • Altaf Ahmed Shah is being interrogated in the same case
  • Geelani’s aides Ayaz Akbar, spokesman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, was arrested by NIA in July
  • NIA’s probe in terror funding case has named Pak-based chief of JuD Hafiz Saeed as an accused
  • Jamaat-ul-Dawah is front of another proscribed outfit Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT)
  • NIA has named Hurriyat Conference (factions led by Geelani and Mirwaiz Farooq) in FIR
  • NIA has mentioned Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) & all-woman outfit Dukhtaran-e-Millat in its FIR

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
  • On Sunday June 4, the NIA continued its raids for the second consecutive day
  • The subject matter of investigation is the entire chain of players behind financing of terrorism
  • These raids are related to funding of terrorist activities by Pakistan-based terror outfits
  • Cash and incriminating material such as Lashkar-e-Tayiba letterheads were seized
  • One day earlier on June 2 the PM in Russia had called for choking terror funding
  • “Terrorists don’t print currency: : PM Modi
  • Some countries facilitate their financing through money laundering”: PM
  • PM also pushed for early decision on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism
  • CCITis a resolution pending before the United Nations for the last 40 years
  • “Demonetisation has choked terror funding, country’s borders are now secure”: Def. Min Nov 27
  • In May 2017 investigation by India Today showed Pak funding Hurriyat to burn Kashmir
  • The media expose revealed Pakistan’s agents trying to destabilise Kashmir by hawala money
  • The startling probe included Hurriyat’s Provincial President (Geelani Faction) Naeem Khan.
  • Tehreek-E-Hurriyat’s Gazi J. Baba and JKLF chairman Farooq Ahmed Dar were also exposed
  • NIA had then questioned separatist leaders Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dara,Gazi Javed Baba
  • A Preliminary Enquiry (PE) into terror funding has  been converted to an FIR by the NIA
  • NIA is probing funding of separatists and use of these funds in fuelling unrest in Kashmir
  • Separatists in Kashmir have been receiving money from Pakistan through the hawala route
  • The funds reach India through countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
  • Businessmen in Delhi act as conduits to push this money into Kashmir

What was recovered in the raids on June 3?

  1. Seized from financiers, hawala operators and office- bearers of separatist groups :-
  2. Cash running into crores of rupees
  3. Gold jewellery and coins worth about Rs. 40 lakh
  4. Large number of property-related papers
  5. Letterheads of the banned outfits- Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen
  6. Several pen-drives
  7. Laptops, mobile phones and other incriminating documents, including
  8. Phone diaries
  9. Katchcha receipts and vouchers

NIA ACTON on June 3 2017 after a media expose

Arrested by NIA earlier in the year were:

  1. Shahid-ul-Islam, spokesman of moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Farooq
  2. Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Nayeem Khan (Geelani faction)
  3. Farooq Ahmed Dar alias ‘Bitta Karate’
  • All of them have been remanded to 10 days of NIA custody.
  • NIA had registered a case on 30 May against separatist and secessionist leaders

The case was registered for raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including hawala, for funding separatist and terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir

The case was also registered for causing disruption in the Kashmir Valley by way of :-

  1. Pelting security forces with stones
  2. Burning schools
  3. Damaging public property
  4. Waging war against India
  • In pursuance of this case, the NIA had conducted widespread searches on the suspected persons in Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Haryana
  • Incriminating documents, electronic devices, cash and other valuables worth crore of rupees were unearthed.
  • For first time since rise of militancy in Kashmir in early 1990s, a central probe agency had carried out raids in connection with funding of separatists and carried out arrests

What did the India Today expose reveal in May 2017?

  • Pakistan’s agents are hiding in Delhi to provide funds
  • Top Kashmiri separatists are heard on camera admitting taking money from Pakistan
  • Top Kashmiri separatists caught on camera confessing to receiving funds from across the border.
  • India Today has come up with clinching evidence of Pakistan’s state and non-state actors
  • Hafiz Saeed and others choreographing anarchy through their agents in the Kashmir Valley
  • Naeem Khan: Currency isn’t routed through the borders. Earlier, it was in small quantities.
  • But major business is carried out in Delhi. It’s taken there and delivered to me here.
  • Through all of Ballimaran and Chandni Chowk. That’s how hawala works in India. Ours is part of it.
  • He admited that they were involved in stone peltings on MLAs, attacking govt properties
  • The operation also revealed Hurriyat’s role in torching schools.
  • If Rs 300-400 cr is pumped in,the Kashmir unrest could be carried on for another three months.
  • JKLF chairman Farooq Ahmed Dar (Bitta Karate) also admited that they all get Pakistani funds.
  • The investigation shows that the separatists, backed by their masters across the border, are geared up to unleash a fresh wave of unrest anytime.
  • Choking separatist finances, therefore, is the key to peace in the Kashmir Valley.
Various methods employed for raising finances for terrorism in J&K include

– Fake Currency printed in Pakistan

– Collection of donations in Middle East and European countries under name of ‘Jihad Funds’

– Extortion from traders, contractors and affluent people in J&K

– Money sent from Pakistan to militant and secessionist groups operating in J&K

-This money sent mainly through Hawala (parallel remittance system) and drug dealers

– Some Kashmiri businessmen dealing in the trade of carpets, handicrafts, etc in Dubai.

– Hawala dealers in Mumbai and Delhi

– Zakat (an Islamic tax) and donations

  • Separatists were allegedly receiving funds from Hafiz Saeed to carry out subversive activities
  • Subversive activities included pelting stones at security forces and damaging public property
  • Burning schools and other government establishments has also been resorted to by separatists
  • The bank accounts and lockers revealed during the 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 hardliner 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 have been mentioned in NIA’s FIR
  • Pakistan-based chief of Jamaat-ul Dawah Hafeez Saeed has also been mentioned
  • This is for the first time that the NIA has 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 and UAPA have sufficiently stringent provisions to combat money laundering and terrorist financing
  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the probe was headed in the right direction.
  • He also said that there won’t be doubts after this massive investigation about the role of Pakistan in sponsoring terror on Indian soil, especially in the Kashmir Valley.
  • Rajnath Singh reaffirmed government’s commitment towards ensuring that Pakistan and its stooges do not continue to play with the lives of the people of the Valley.
  • “I assure you that we will uproot Pak-sponsored terror from J&K and 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.

CONCLUSION: It is important that these charges are taken to their logical conclusion — to convictions or to acquittals.

These investigations are not unprecedented in the strained history of the power struggle in the Valley.

Even in the past 1995 and 2003 raids by the Central Bureau of Investigation and of the income tax authorities have taken place, only for these probes to be lost in bureaucratic and judicial lag.

Few know the status of those past probes and fewer still care for what has come out of them.

Practical underpinnings of the complicated intelligence dynamics in the state show that these antics are often resorted to as an intimidation technique to force the separatist leaders to come to the negotiating table and deter them from cultivating even closer relations with Pakistan.

This probe shouldn’t suffer the fate of the earlier probes. It must sever the umbilical cord between the strife in Kashmir and Pakistan.

 

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