Rs 7 crore proceeds of terror funding identified

Rs 7 crore proceeds of terror funding identified

Hizbul Mujahideen founder Syed Salahuddin. PTI file photo

 Indian investigators have so far determined assets valued at around Rs seven crore as proceeds of terror funding crimes in Jammu and Kashmir, official sources have said.

Thirteen people, including Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Sayeed and Hizbul Mujahideen founder Syed Salahuddin, have also been identified as those behind terror funding in Kashmir valley.

Their properties have been identified as part of “surgical strikes” against terror funding, sources claimed. According to investigators, individuals identified during probes have been found to be providing money to all major terrorist groups as also Hurriyat leaders, separatists and stone-pelters.

Besides Sayeed and Salahuddin, the list of people under scanner includes separatist leaders Aftab Ahmad Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah (son-in-law of Syed Ali Shah Geelani), Mohd Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali and Mohd Akbar Khanday (Geelani's press secretary) among others.

According to the investigators, funds were provided to take up campaigns to misguide, motivate and recruit local youth to terrorist ranks including from madrasas and mosques. Operational activities of terror groups are also being financed including attacks on Security forces personnel, camps and convoys.

It is also claimed that the Hurriyat Conference also has received money through these channels and it is used for maintaining top leadership and also the massive propaganda machinery.

Extensive use of such funds is also being made to finance institutions focused on subverting the local population including through selected Mosques, Madrasas and organization like recently banned Jamat-e-Islami (JK), sources claimed.

The NIA had earlier arrested Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, who is presently lodged in Delhi's Tihar Jail and now his posh bungalow in Haryana's Gurugram, near Delhi, has been attached, sources said claiming it was the first such action. According to investigators, he had allegedly received money from LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, Salahuddin, ISIS and the Pakistan High Commission here.

“Watali is a major conduit for funnelling terror finances in India. Incriminating documents seized by ED clearly indicate that he has been receiving money from Hafiz Saeed, Syed Salahuddin, ISI and the Pakistan High Commission at New Delhi directly. He is known to have important sources of Hawala financing operating out of Dubai also,” a senior official said.

Apart from Watali, the official said others have also been “brought into the dragnet of terror funding and multi-agency surgical strikes on terror funding have been launched against them in a concerted manner for the first time”.