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NIA Dossier Reveals Link Between LeT and Separatists in Terror Funding Case

The NIA dossier shows how top leaders of Hurriyat acquired funds sent through hawala channels and under the guise of cross-LoC trade to finance unrest in Kashmir.

Manoj Gupta | CNN-News18

Updated:July 31, 2017, 9:18 PM IST
NIA Dossier Reveals Link Between LeT and Separatists in Terror Funding Case
The NIA has cracked down on separatist leaders, accusing them of being in cahoots with terrorist groups. (Photo for representation: Getty images)

New Delhi: A dossier prepared by the National Investigation Agency on terror funding in Jammu and Kashmir has established a direct link between Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hurriyat leaders, and details how financial assistance from across the border is used for terror financing and to fuel unrest in the Valley.

The dossier, accessed exclusively by CNN-News18, shows that Pakistan’s ISI and LeT have been in touch with most of the separatist leaders in the state. It says that the top leaders of Hurriyat acquired funds sent through hawala channels and under the guise of cross-LoC trade to finance protests over the last one year.

Sources said that separatist leaders have been the biggest beneficiaries of terror funding, as apart from creating unrest with the resources, they have used the money to buy properties and invest in business.

“LeT is sending money to Hurriyat to pay for stone-pelters and create unrest in the Valley,” said a source, on the condition of anonymity. He said that the stone-pelters are hired on either daily or weekly basis and are paid around Rs 500 per day or Rs 2,000 per week.

The NIA is now going after the businesses who are believed to be on the pay rolls of terror organisations and are routing funds to pro-freedom leaders from Pakistan. Almost 50 big traders and businessmen from the Valley are under the scanner of security agencies and may be summoned to Delhi for questioning soon, sources said.

The agency has expanded the probe against terror funding to choke the supply of separatists in order to curb violence in the Valley. A week ago, the NIA had arrested seven Kashmiri separatist leaders, including hardline Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah. Around 30 more people with links to this nexus, including Geelani’s two sons, Nayeem and Naseem, have been summoned. Sources said that more arrests are likely in the next few days.

Speaking to CNN-News18, former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah also said separatists are being funded by Pakistan-based outfits. “The book by former R&AW chief Mr. Dullat, who was attached to PMO, clearly shows that the money was being paid to these people. What more proof could you want?” he asked.

However, he said he is against banning the Hurriyat, saying it would give them “an opportunity to go underground.” “Then, it would be very difficult to know about them and their activities. It is better that they are not banned. You see, the world over, wherever groups like these were banned, it did not prove to be fruitful,” he said.

Abdullah also accused J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti of being hand-in-glove with separatists, after she said that arresting those who fund stone-pelters in the Valley is not the solution. “These things have not resolved the problem. They may have contained the situation for some time but this is not a resolution,” Mufti had said.

There has also been a strong pushback from the state administration against the crackdown. The J&K High Court bar association has constituted a legal team to examine the constitutional validity of the NIA probe against Hurriyat leaders. The state's resistance to the NIA probe comes after Mufti warned against any interference with laws that grant the state special status.

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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