The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), deployed along the border with Nepal, has told the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that former militants using the route to come back from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) are being funded by banned outfit Hizbul Mujahideen. The SSB informed the government that there has been a jump in the number of former militants who were returning to India through the Nepal route. While last year saw the return of 114 such people, including a large number of children, till May this year 110 people had come.
In a letter to the MHA, SSB said, “The interrogation of one such returnee (former Kashmir militant) Ahmed Ghulam on January 7 revealed that the funding for his return was provided by Hizbul Mujahideen. Normal expenditure on return of one person is around Rs 1 lakh in Pakistani currency. It may be a serious matter for investigation and probe by concerned agencies about the motive behind such funding by groups like HM.”
The Nepal route had come under the lens after the Special Cell of Delhi Police arrested a former Hizbul militant Liyaqat Shah from the border. Probe revealed that Shah was returning with his family to be rehabilitated in J&K. The case is still being investigated by the NIA. Till now, no Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is in place for the return of the former militants, nor has it been declared as an official route.
“The militants coming along with family and children cannot be verified in the absence of any procedure or documents. In fact, SSB can be accused of infiltrating Pakistani nationals including women and children without any passports,” the letter said.