Millennium Post

NIA raids 23 places in Srinagar, Delhi, seizes Rs 1 cr in terror funding

The NIA on Saturday said it has seized over 1 crore during nearly two dozen raids conducted in Srinagar, Delhi, and Haryana in connection with terror funding by Pakistan-based groups in the Kashmir Valley.

The raids are on at more than 14 places in Srinagar, eight in Delhi, and one in Haryana, including areas in Ballimaran and Chandni Chowk in the national capital, and a cold storage in Haryana's Sonepat, an NIA official said.

Of money seized, Rs 65-70 lakh was recovered from Srinagar, and Rs 35-40 lakh in Delhi, the official said.

He said 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, among others - were raided in the case in Srinagar.

The raids came in the wake of a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Hurriyat Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and his close aide and Hurriyat provincial President Nayeem Khan, Dar and Baba on May 19.

The raids in the national capital 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.

Raids were also conducted in Rohini and Greater Kailash II of Delhi.

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.

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 the government, criminal conspiracy, and under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The three separatist leaders were earlier questioned by the agency in Delhi on Monday and Tuesday.

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

On May 20, the NIA had collected details of 13 accused and charge-sheeted those involved in arson attacks on schools and public property in Kashmir.

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 fuelling unrest in the Valley after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight on July 8, 2016.

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