SRINAGAR: The NIA has alleged that its probe into terror financing in Jammu and Kashmir has revealed that hardline separatist leaders received funds from abroad and utilised them for personal gains — from amassing properties to paying for foreign education of their kin.
The agency has interrogated several top leaders of Hurriyat Conference and other organisations and claimed that they had confessed to receiving funds from Pakistan to fuel separatist sentiments among the people of Kashmir Valley.
The NIA disclosed that senior separatist leader Masarat Alam has revealed that there was a rift in the Hurriyat Conference over the collection and use of funds and JKLF chief Mohammad Yasin Malik spearheaded the 2016 unrest.
On May 30, 2017, the NIA had registered a case against Jammat-ud-Dawah, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, Duktaran-e-Millat and separatist leaders for raising, receiving and collecting funds for funding separatist and militants activities in J&K and entering into a larger conspiracy for causing disruption in the Valley and waging war against India.
An NIA spokesman said during the investigation, the agency has charge sheeted 13 accused, including Hafiz Saeed (Pakistan-based JuD chief), Syed Salahuddin (chief of Hizbul Mujahideen), seven separatist leaders, two hawala conduits, including a leading businessman and some stone pelters. The investigation, he said, has revealed that Kashmir’s leading businessman Zahoor Ahmad Watali is one of the main hawala conduit, who allegedly used to generate and receive funds from Pakistan, ISI, UAE. “He had floated various shell companies to disguise foreign remittances for further transfer to separatist leaders and stone pelters in the Valley. These funds were used to fuel unrest and organise violent agitations and anti-India activities in Kashmir”.
“Crucial electronic and documentary evidence was recovered which point towards a pattern of raising, collection, transfer and use of funds for militant and separatist activities,” the spokesman said.