Terror funding: NIA raids multiple locations

Terror funding: NIA raids multiple locations

Clamping down on separatist groups reportedly receiving funds for carrying out subversive activities in the Kashmir Valley, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday carried out raids at various places and recovered unaccounted account books, Rs 2 crore in cash and letterheads 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 early hours at 29 locations on the premises of second-rung separatists, businessmen and hawala dealers.

Sources told DH that the NIA team seized nearly Rs 1 crore cash from various locations in the Valley, besides laptops, pen drives, property-related documents and militants letterheads, which are being scrutinised. As many as 85 gold coins and other jewellery have also been seized from various locations, they said.

The separatists whose houses were searched include Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Fantoosh, son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani, Salvation Movement chairman Zaffar Akbar Bhat, JKLF senior leader Noor Muhammad Kalwal, National Front (NF) chairman Nayeem Khan, JKLF leader Farooq Dar alias Bitta Karatay and moderate Hurriyat Media Advisor Shahid-ul-Islam.

Businessmen raided
The NIA also raided houses and offices of high-profile businessmen, including hoteliers Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya, Manzoor Wangnoo, Zahoor Watali, Raja Zahoor Khan, Muhammad Sultan Tangnuu, Nazir Ahmad Mir, Farooq Ahmad Wani, Muhammad Sultan Chandu and Dr Bashir Ahmad Bhat, sources said.

However, Chaya and Wangnoo later issued statements warning of legal action against New Delhi-based TV channels who they said were falsely reporting about raids on their residences by the NIA “that never took place”.

The raids were carried out after NIA launched Preliminary Enquiry (PE) into alleged hawala funding to separatist leaders to fuel protests and violence in Kashmir.

The PE was launched following a ‘sting operation’ by a New-Delhi-based news channel after which three separatists leaders, Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmed and Gazi Javed Baba, who were allegedly receiving funds from 2008 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind and LeT chief Hafiz Saeed, were grilled by the NIA in Srinagar and Delhi for several days.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday issued a notice to senior separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah, under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) for “receiving illegal foreign exchange”.

The separatists while responding to NIA raids, claimed that New Delhi is frustrated to the extent that they frame and arrest the “pro-freedom leaders and activists in a pre-planned psychological crackdown so that they surrender and stop voicing the sentiments of their nation”.

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