The investigating agencies on Saturday hit Kashmir separatist leaders hard. National Investigation Agency raided 23 locations in Kashmir, Haryana and the national capital in connection with a case of alleged funding received by separatist groups for carrying out subversive activities in the Valley. At the same time, ED issued fresh summons to Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah in connection with an over a decade-old case of money laundering registered against him for alleged terror financing.
NIA crackdown on Pak terror funding
In a pre-dawn swoop, NIA on Saturday raided 23 locations in Kashmir, Haryana and the national capital in connection with a case of alleged funding received by separatist groups for carrying out subversive activities in the Valley.
After registering an FIR earlier this week, various NIA teams, which had been camping in the Valley for few days, moved under heavy escort from their camp office located at Humhama, on the outskirts of the Srinagar city.
Among those raided by the NIA were Altaf Fantoosh, the son-in-law of hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, businessman Zahoor Watali, Shahid-ul-Islam, leader of Awami Action Committee led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, and some second rung separatist leaders belonging to both factions of the Hurriyat Conference and the JKLF.
The agency seized nearly Rs 1.5 crore from various locations in the Kashmir Valley, besides documents which were being scrutinised, officials said.
This is for the first time since militancy raised its ugly head in early 1990s that a central probe agency has carried out raids in connection with terror funding to separatists which has been used for carrying out subversive activities in the Valley.
Earlier in 2002, Income Tax department had carried out searches against separatist leaders, including Geelani, and seized cash and other documents. However, no criminal case had been registered then.
While no separatist leader from the Valley has been named in the FIR registered by the NIA, organisations like the Hurriyat Conference (factions led by Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq), Hizbul Mujahideen, Dukhtaran-e-Milat and Lashker-e-Taiba besides Pakistan-based chief of Jamaat-ul Dawah Hafeez Saeed have been mentioned.
The NIA, which had earlier registered a Preliminary Enquiry, also raided around eight hawala dealers and traders in the national, besides two in Sonepat, Haryana.
The raids were carried out following the questioning of three separatist leaders—Nayeem Khan, who was seen on television during a sting operation purportedly confessing to receiving money from Pakistan-based terror groups, Farooq Ahmed Dar alias ‘Bitta Karate’ and Gazi Javed Baba of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, in the national capital last month.
The separatists were allegedly receiving funds from the chief of Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT), Hafiz Saeed, to carry out subversive activities in the Kashmir Valley, including pelting stones at security forces, damaging public property and burning schools and other government establishments.
ED issues fresh summons to separatist leader Shabir Shah in decade old money laundering case
The ED has issued fresh summons to Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah in connection with an over a decade-old case of money laundering registered against him for alleged terror financing.
Officials said the agency has asked Shah to depose before the investigating officer (IO) of the case here on June 6.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had issued a similar summons to Shah on May 25 but he had failed to keep the date.
Fresh summons have now been issued to Shah, they said.
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The central probe agency has issued several summons to Shah over the last few years in pursuance of the August 2005 case wherein the Delhi Police’s Special Cell had arrested Mohammed Aslam Wani (35), an alleged hawala dealer, who had claimed that he had passed on Rs 2.25 crore to Shah.
Shah has never kept the dates with ED. He has in the past told PTI that the ED case against him was “politically motivated”.
The ED had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Shah and Wani.
Wani was arrested allegedly with Rs 63 lakh, received through ‘hawala’ channels from the Middle East, and a large cache of ammunition on August 26, 2005.
During questioning, he had told the police that Rs 50 lakh was to be delivered to Shah and Rs 10 lakh to Jaish-e-Mohammad area commander in Srinagar, Abu Baqar, and the rest was his commission.
Wani, who hailed from Srinagar, had also claimed that he had delivered around Rs 2.25 crore to Shah and his kin in multiple instalments over the past year.
The ED, sources said, wants to probe the “proceeds of crime” of alleged terror financing in this case.
(With PTI Inputs)