SRINAGAR/NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday conducted fresh raids at the residential premises and business establishments of traders and hawala operators suspected to have channeled funds to fuel secessionist and anti-India activities at 27 locations in the national capital and Srinagar. The searches were part of the ongoing investigation into the Jammu and Kashmir terror funding case.
In Srinagar, the raids on the traders and businessman, some of whom were engaged in cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade, led to the recovery of over Rs 2.20 crore in cash and incriminating documents as well as several electronic devices. The documents pertained to financial transactions. A large number of digital devices, including laptops, mobile phones and hard discs, were also seized during the searches, NIA spokesperson Alok Mittal said in a statement.
“Diaries pertaining to contacts of hawala operators/ traders and ledgers containing accounts of cross-border LoC trade of various companies have been recovered. Details of bank accounts in Jammu and Kashmir were also recovered. Travel documents of some entities showing their visits to the UAE were also recovered,” Mittal said. Searches were continuing and the suspects were being questioned, he added.
Sources in Jammu and Kashmir said the raids were conducted at residences and offices of traders and businessmen in the Bemina area of uptown Srinagar, HMT on the outskirts of Srinagar and Buchpora and Nowhatta in downtown Srinagar as well as other places. Among those whose residences were raided in Srinagar were Bashir Ahmad Kaloo, Showkat Ahmad Kaloo, Abdul Rashid Bhat, Firdous Iqbal Wani and Sajad Syed Khan, they said.
“They were questioned about their involvement in the hawala operations and providing hawala funds to the militants and separatists for carrying out subversive activities,” the sources added.
The fresh raids took place a day after the NIA arrested two alleged stone pelters, including a photo-journalist, from south Kashmir. The duo, according to sources, indulged in stone pelting and used social media to instigate youth to pelt stones on security personnel.
The NIA had also summoned senior lawyer and Kashmir Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom for questioning at its New Delhi headquarters on Wednesday.The NIA is probing the militancy and separatist funding in J&K and has arrested nine people including seven separatist leaders, a Sikh lawyer from Jammu and a leading businessman in the Valley.