New Delhi: The National INvestigative Agency (NIA) on Saturday seized over Rs 1 crore in cash, letterheads of banned terrorist organisations like LeT, and incriminating documents during two dozen raids conducted across Srinagar, Delhi, and Haryana in connection with terror funding by Pakistan-based groups to stoke unrest in Kashmir Valley.
The agency also registered a case against LeT founder Hafiz Saeed under the provisions of waging war against the country and criminal conspiracy.
NIA officials conducted raids in 14 places in Srinagar, including 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, and their aides.In Delhi, raids were carried out in Ballimaran, Chandni Chowk, Rohini and Greater Kailash II areas, and at a cold storage in Haryana`s Sonepat, a National Investigation Agency official said.
Of the Rs 1.15 crore money seized, about Rs 65-70 lakh was recovered from Srinagar, and Rs 35-40 lakh in Delhi, the official said.
The NIA also recovered property related documents, letterheads of banned terrorist organisations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), pen drives, laptops and other incriminating documents from the premises of the accused. The official said the agency would conduct raids at fresh locations revealed during questioning of the aides of the separatist leaders.
The agency`s action comes after the counter-terror agency converted a May 19 preliminary enquiry against Hurriyat Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and his close aide and Hurriyat provincial President Nayeem Khan, Dar and Baba into a regular case.
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 India, criminal conspiracy, and under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The raids in Delhi 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.
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.
The three separatist leaders were summoned to Delhi and questioned by the agency over two days from Monday.
Between May 19 and 22, the counter-terror agency questioned Baba and Dar on four consecutive days in Srinagar. Khan was also grilled on May 19.
On May 20, the NIA collected details of 13 accused and charge-sheeted those involved in arson attacks on schools and public property in Kashmir during last year`s prolonged unrest in Kashmir Valley.
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 the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in a gunfight on July 8, 2016.