NIA RAIDS DOZENS OF PLACES IN DELHI, SRINAGAR TO STOP FUNDING OF KASHMIR SEPARATISTS

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Soldiers posted outside one of the 17 places in Srinagar that were raided by the NIA on June 3, 2017. The NIA seized over Rs 1 crore during nearly two dozen raids conducted in Srinagar, Delhi, and Haryana in connection with alleged terror funding by Pakistan-based groups in the Kashmir Valley. IANS

NIA officials conducted raids in 17 places in Srinagar, including the houses of three separatist leaders — Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader Ghazi Javed Baba, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Farooq Ahmed Dar aka Bitta Karate, and suspended Hurriyat leader Nayeem Khan, Zahoor Watali, Raja Zahoor Khan and their aides. In Delhi, raids were carried out in Ballimaran, Chandni Chowk, Rohini and Greater Kailash II areas, and at a cold storage in Haryana’s Sonepat, a National Investigation Agency official said.

NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR (IANS) The NIA on Saturday seized over Rs 1 crore in cash, letterheads of banned terrorist organisations like LeT, and incriminating documents during nearly two dozen raids across Srinagar, Delhi, and Haryana in connection with terror funding by Pakistan-based groups to stoke unrest in the Kashmir Valley.

The agency also registered a case against LeT founder Hafiz Saeed under the provisions of waging war against the country and criminal conspiracy.

NIA officials conducted raids in 17 places in Srinagar, including the houses of three separatist leaders — Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader Ghazi Javed Baba, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Farooq Ahmed Dar aka Bitta Karate, and suspended Hurriyat leader Nayeem Khan, Zahoor Watali, Raja Zahoor Khan and their aides.

In Delhi, raids were carried out in Ballimaran, Chandni Chowk, Rohini and Greater Kailash II areas, and at a cold storage in Haryana’s Sonepat, a National Investigation Agency official said.

Of the Rs 1.15 crore money seized, about Rs 65-70 lakh was recovered from Srinagar, and Rs 35-40 lakh in Delhi, the official said. The NIA also seized gold jewellery worth Rs 40 lakh.

The NIA said it seized property-related documents, letterheads of banned terrorist organisations Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), pen drives, laptops, mobile phones and other incriminating documents, including phone diaries, receipts, vouchers from the premises of the accused financiers, hawala operators, and office-bearers of separatist groups.

The agency official said it bank accounts and lockers found during investigation have been ordered to be frozen.

“The persons concerned have been summoned for questioning,” an NIA official said.

The official said the agency will conduct raids at more locations revealed during questioning of aides of the separatist leaders.

The agency’s action comes after the counter-terror agency converted a May 19 preliminary enquiry against Hurriyat Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and his close aide and Hurriyat provincial President Nayeem Khan, Dar and Baba into a regular case.

A senior NIA official told IANS: “The preliminary enquiry has been converted into an FIR against Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed and other Pakistan-based terror agencies.”

The FIR, which does not name any of the separatist leaders, has been registered under legal provisions dealing with waging war or attempting to wage war against India, criminal conspiracy, and under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The raids in Delhi were carried out after the separatist leaders were seen confessing in a sting operation video that they received funds from Pakistan via middlemen based in Ballimaran and Chandni Chowk.

Khan had allegedly confessed to receiving money to incite trouble in Kashmir. The video clipping was released by India Today TV channel on May 16.

The three separatist leaders were summoned to Delhi and questioned by the agency over two days from Monday.

Between May 19 and 22, the counter-terror agency questioned Baba and Dar on four consecutive days in Srinagar. Khan was also grilled on May 19.

On May 20, the NIA collected details of 13 accused and charge-sheeted those involved in arson attacks on schools and public property in Kashmir during last year’s prolonged unrest in Kashmir Valley.

The NIA officials said the agency was probing all aspects of funding of separatist leaders by Lashkar-e-Taiba and other Pakistan sources, and use of this money in fueling unrest in the Valley after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in a gunfight on July 8, 2016.

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