Pak funding: NIA needs to expand its circle of investigation, advises Jalali

Delhi [India], May 22 : While appreciating the National Investigation Agency's (NIA) move of questioning the separatist leaders with regard to terror funding in Kashmir, senior journalist Rahul Jalali on Monday said the probe agency needs to expand its circle of investigation.

Jalali notified that there have been allegations against various leaders of Hurriyat owning major hotels in Srinagar, Pahalgam, Gulmarg and also outside Kashmir, suggesting that the NIA should also go into benami properties which these people own.

"I believe that the NIA also will have to expand its jurisdiction where they include other Hurriyat leaders also because there have been allegations which have been very rife in the streets of Kashmir about various leaders of Hurriyat owning major hotels in Srinagar, Pahalgam, Gulmarg and also outside Kashmir," Jalali told ANI.

Defence expert Ranjeet Rai said that the suspension of a Hurriyat leader is a success for the NIA. "Illegal funds were coming into India since a long time and definitely, the Hurriyat was getting it. The media reported it, the NIA investigated and therefore, there is some success because definitely the person in the Hurriyat who was part of that group has been suspended.

So, NIA has definitely got proactive and is getting information from the media also and sting operations," Rai told ANI.

The NIA, which reached Srinagar on Saturday to probe into the alleged funding by Pakistan for illegal activities in Kashmir, continued on Sunday questioning the separatist leaders regarding their involvement in raising, collecting and transferring funds through Hawala and other channels for terror funding in Kashmir.

The sleuths from the agency questioned separatist leaders Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate and Gazi Javed Baba in the case.

The NIA is probing all aspects of funding of separatist leaders and use of these funds in fuelling the unrest in the Valley.

The NIA has collected details of 13 accused chargesheeted so far in the cases in the Valley in the recent past, pertaining to the damage caused to schools and public property as part of the larger conspiracy to perpetuate violence and chaos in Kashmir.

The NIA had on Saturday began its probe into the allegations of funding by Pakistan to separatists in Kashmir, a long-held assertion by Indian intelligence now 'confessed' by a Hurriyat leader in a sting.

Saturday's development came after the Hurriyat Conference suspended Nayeem Khan from the organisation after he allegedly confessed to receiving money from Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for Kashmir unrest.

Khan was allegedly heard admitting in a TV sting operation that he had received money from Pakistan to create unrest in the Valley.

He, however, claimed that the sting operation was fake and doctored. After the video surfaced, the NIA registered a preliminary probe against Khan, Tehreek-e- Hurriyat leader Gazi Javed Baba and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (R) chairman Farooq Ahmed Dar.

Source: ANI