NIA swoops down on J-K separatists

The National Investigation Agency has recovered Rs.2.5 crore in cash, gold items worth Rs.40 lakh and letterheads of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba in raids conducted on Saturday across Jammu-Kashmir, Delhi and Haryana in a case involving use of terror funds to fuel unrest in the valley.

The searches at residences, offices and commercial establishments of office bearers of Kashmiri separatist groups, financiers and hawala traders came days after NIA converted a preliminary enquiry into the terror funding, allegedly involving Hurriyat leaders, into a regular case.

NIA said its teams raided 26 locations, including 15-16 in Kashmir, 7-8 in Delhi and two in Sonepat, starting early on Saturday. The searches led to the recovery of cash totalling Rs.2.5 crore, gold jewellery and bullion worth Rs.40 lakh, property-related documents, letterheads of banned terrorist organisations such as LeT and HM, pen-drives, laptops, mobiles phones and other incriminating documents including phone diaries, katchcha receipts, vouchers, etc. Of the cash recovered, Rs.70 lakh was found at locations in Delhi.

The bank accounts and lockers revealed during the course of investigation have been ordered to be frozen. The concerned persons have been summoned for questioning.Fresh locations revealed during the questioning of the suspects will also be searched.

The locations raided on Saturday include residences and offices belonging to Hurriyat members and big hawala traders suspected to have acted as conduits for terror funds.

As per the case filed by NIA 4-5 days ago, terror funds allegedly sourced from Pak-based terror outfits like Lashkar-eTaiba were used for fuelling unrest in the valley through incidents of stone-pelting and targeting of schools and public propert . Though the FIR does not name separatist leaders, it mentions outfits like LeT, along with its chief Hafiz Saeed, and Hizbul Mujahideen that allegedly channelled funds sourced from Pakistan to separatists including Hurriyat leaders based in Kashmir, through the hawala route. This money was allegedly used to fund the protests and mob violence in the valley .

NIA recently questioned Hurriyat leaders Naeem Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate and Javed Ahmed Baba alias Prince alias Gazi at Srinagar and Delhi regarding involvement in raising, collecting and transferring funds through hawala for terror funding in Kashmir.

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