Terror funding; NIA raids 29 places in Srinagar, Delhi, Haryana
Separatists were allegedly receiving funds from Pakistan-based LeT chief Hafiz Saeed
STATE TIMES NEWS
SRINAGAR/NEW DELHI: Clamping down on separatist groups allegedly receiving funds for carrying out subversive activities in the Kashmir Valley, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) today carried out raids at various places and recovered unaccounted account books, Rs 2 crore cash and letter heads of banned terror groups.
After thorough planning carried out for the last four days, various NIA teams in Kashmir, the national capital and Sonepat in Haryana began near simultaneous raids since the wee hours at 29 locations on the premises of second-rung separatists, businessmen and hawala dealers.
During the searches, a cash amount of Rs 2 crore was seized from various locations involving separatists and their sympathisers and property-related documents, letter heads of banned terrorist organisations such as Lashker-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen were recovered, official sources said.
The NIA also seized pen-drives, laptops, and other documents from the accused during the searches at locations in Kashmir, Delhi and Haryana, so far, they said.
As many as 85 gold coins and other jewellery have also been seized from various locations, they said.
After registering an FIR earlier this week, various NIA teams, which had been camping in the Valley for few days, moved under heavy escort from their camp office located at Humhama, on the outskirts of the Srinagar city.
Among those raided by the NIA were Altaf Fantoosh, the son-in-law of hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani; businessman Zahoor Watali; Shahid-ul-Islam, leader of Awami Action Committee led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq; and some second- rung separatist leaders belonging to both factions of the Hurriyat Conference and the JKLF.
This is for the first time since militancy raised its ugly head in early 1990s that a central probe agency has carried out raids in connection with terror funding to separatists which has been used for subversive activities in the Valley.
Earlier in 2002, Income Tax department had carried out searches against separatist leaders, including Geelani, and seized cash and other documents. However, no criminal case had been registered then.
While no separatist leader from the Valley has been named in the FIR registered by the NIA, organisations like the Hurriyat Conference (factions led by Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq), Hizbul Mujahideen, Dukhtaran-e-Milat and Lashker-e- Taiba besides Pakistan-based chief of Jamaat-ul Dawah Hafeez Saeed have been mentioned.
The NIA, which had earlier registered a Preliminary Enquiry, also raided around eight hawala dealers and traders in the national, besides two in Sonepat, Haryana.
The raids were carried out following the questioning of three separatist leaders — Nayeem Khan, who was seen on television during a sting operation purportedly confessing to receiving money from Pakistan-based terror groups, Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate and Gazi Javed Baba of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, in the national capital last month.
Their houses have also been searched today, the sources said.
The separatists were allegedly receiving funds from the chief of Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT), Hafiz Saeed, to carry out subversive activities in the Kashmir Valley, including pelting stones at security forces, damaging public property and burning schools and other government establishments.