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Terror funding case: NIA raids homes of top separatist leaders in Valley

The raids were part of a search operation linked to the agency’s investigation in the alleged terror-funding case. They triggered calls for a two-day shutdown in the Valley by the separatist leadership.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar |
Updated: February 27, 2019 1:44:17 am
nia separatists raids, NIA raids mirwaiz farooq, pulwama attack, pulwama attack nia, NIA pulwama probe, kashmir separatists, latest news, indian express An NIA team in Maisuma, Srinagar. (Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

CONTINUING its crackdown on the separatist leadership in the Kashmir Valley, teams of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted raids spread over nine hours at the homes of top leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, across Srinagar early Tuesday morning.

The raids were part of a search operation linked to the agency’s investigation in the alleged terror-funding case. They triggered calls for a two-day shutdown in the Valley by the separatist leadership.

The raids came barely a few hours after Indian fighter jets conducted a strike at a Jaish-e-Mohammed facility across the border, and three days after the government launched a massive crackdown against separatists leaders. The entire leadership of Jamat-e-Islami and several other top separatist leaders had earlier been detained.

The other homes that were raided included those of detained JKLF chief Yasin Malik; Naseem Geelani, the younger son of Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani; Geelani’s confidante Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai; jailed leader Shabir Ahmad Shah; and, Salvation Movement chairman Zafar Akbar Bhat.

“During the searches, NIA teams recovered incriminating documents including property papers, financial transactions receipts and bank account details. Electronic devices including laptops, e-tablets, mobile phones, pen drives, communication system and DVRs were also seized during the searches,” the NIA claimed in an official release.

“Significantly, letterheads of different terrorist organisations as well as documents relating to recommendations for visa for admission in Pakistan educational institutions were found,” it claimed.

The NIA release stated that a “hi-tech internet communication set-up” was also recovered from Mirwaiz’s residence.

Officials said an NIA team, led by an SP-rank officer, raided the home of Malik at Maisuma in the city’s centre. The area around Malik’s house was cordoned off by J-K Police and paramilitary personnel before the raid, which continued for over five hours.

The action led to a tense situation with youths gathering outside and pelting stones at police, paramilitary personnel and the NIA team, which quickly wrapped up the search.

Half an hour later, another NIA team raided the house of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at Nageen and conducted searches that continued for over nine hours. Mirwaiz was at his home when the raid and searches were conducted.

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