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NIA probes Hurriyat ‘funding from Pak’

Sources said that two senior NIA officers arrived in Srinagar and held a series of meetings with top officials regarding the role of Hurriyat leaders in stoking unrest in the Valley.

Written by Deeptimaan Tiwary | New Delhi | Updated: May 20, 2017 7:26 am
NIA geelani probe, NIA funding probe, kashmir, kashmiri separatists, NIA, syed geelani, syed ali shah geelani, hafiz saeed, lashker-e-taiba, NIA, kashmir valley, lashker, kashmir news, indian express, india news Leaders of the Geelani faction admitted to receiving funds in a video aired on TV (Source: AP)

The NIA has initiated a preliminary enquiry (PE) into allegations of funding of Hurriyat Conference leaders by Pakistan-based terror groups including the Hafiz Saeed-led Lashkar-e-Toiba. The PE will also probe whether these funds were used to fan unrest in the Valley.

“National Investigation Agency has registered a PE (preliminary enquiry) into the funding of Hurriyat leaders namely Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Naeem Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Gazi Javed Baba and others in J&K by Hafiz Muhammed Saeed and other Pakistan-based terrorists and agencies to carry out subversive activities in Kashmir and for damaging public property, stone-pelting on security forces, burning of schools and other government establishments,” an NIA statement said.

The agency claimed it had registered the case after taking cognizance of a “news item related to the recording of conversations between the reporter and leaders of the separatist groups operating in Kashmir valley, by India Today TV, on 16.05.2017 in this regard”.

Sources said that two senior NIA officers, of the rank of Additional DGP and DIG, arrived in Srinagar and held a series of meetings with top officials regarding the role of Hurriyat leaders in stoking unrest in the Valley, especially after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani last year.

On May 16, India Today TV aired a story in which top leaders of the Geelani faction of Hurriyat Conference admit receiving funding from Pakistan. In the videos, India Today reporters — who according to the channel posed as potential funders and met Hurriyat leaders — ask Hurriyat provincial president Naeem Khan about how funding from Pakistan is received by them. Khan is heard saying that it comes to Delhi via Dubai and Saudi Arabia and hawala operators route it to separatists. He also admits overseeing burning of schools and staging of protests in Kashmir.

Khan says that more than Rs 100 crore has been pumped in by Pakistan to sustain protests in Kashmir. He also says that money from Pakistan flows to “Mirwaiz” and “Yasin”.

In further conversations, Khan says that Geelani has relations with agencies in Pakistan and has been in touch with Hafiz Saeed. He says Saeed has funded Geelani.

NIA sources claimed that their investigation is not entirely based on India Today sting operations, and that they have intelligence inputs to that effect. They did admit, however, there was no financial trail at the moment to substantiate the claims.

This is the second PE the NIA has registered to probe funding of stone-pelters and protesters in the Valley. In August last year, the NIA had initiated a PE in this regard and brought 17 bank accounts with cumulative transactions of Rs 38 crore under scrutiny. All these accounts belonged to small-time businessmen in Kupwara and Pulwama and were flagged as suspicious or fronts for separatists. However, till date the NIA has not been able to establish any link of terror groups or separatists with these accounts or transactions. That is why it has not even initiated a regular case in the matter.

The links between the Hurriyat and funding from Pakistan have been explored earlier. The NIA is already probing Geelani in a 2011 case of funding of Hurriyat and Hizbul Mujahideen by Pakistan. It has already once summoned Geelani’s son Naeem Geelani for questioning. A chargesheet has also been filed in the case.

With inputs from Srinagar

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  1. K
    Kamal Pasha
    May 20, 2017 at 8:12 pm
    How about Indian Army getting extra funds to kill innocents Kashmiri Freedom fighter who are only asking freedom from India?
    1. J
      May 20, 2017 at 3:53 pm
      Only in India this can happen, in any other country they would be locked up with anti-national charges. Its shameful as it is to see P. A. K. I flag raised on Indian soil several times during the disturbances. Surely these people can be targeted and shot down if necessary by the security forces. Why are we pu s sy footing around these anti-nationals, they dont belong here ? These are para sites who live off our money and land , get rid of them !!
      1. Kashi Pandit
        May 20, 2017 at 9:21 am
        Those running sedition in Kashmir are much more smart than the top functionaries of NIA. Nothing will come out of this or any other PE. Huge funding of Kashmir insurgency by stan will be as ineffective as the similar funding by Indians to couter-terror moles it has created. In his book Kashmir during Vajpayee era, the autor and former RAW chief clearly sates that he paid crores of rupees to Hurriyat and oher dissidents in Kashmir. May I ask the author Mr. Dulat what is his or his original agency's achievement after being munificent to Kashmir sedition leadership