With the government agencies registering a number of cases against Kashmiri separatists on the alleged terror-funding, a probe launched by National Investigation Agency (NIA) last year on the same lines has failed to find any evidence and is almost closed, an Indian Express report said.Last year, after the street protests in the valley, following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, the agency had started a preliminary probe to investigate on funds stoking unrest in the Valley. The government suspected that these funds were coming from across the border and were being transferred to stone-pelters through suspect bank accounts linked to separatists or terrorists.
Almost a year after, the NIA found that all transactions through these bank accounts were done through legitimate means and not in any way related to terror funding. “No evidence of terror funding or financial aid to stone-pelters has been found in that case. All bank accounts that were brought under the scanner have been found to have had legitimate business transactions. That case is as good as closed,” a senior NIA officer was quoted as saying by the paper.
However, the officer said that the case related to alleged terror funding of Hurriyat leaders, is “going strong” and may result in some arrests in near future. In the case related to last year, the NIA probed transactions amounting to Rs 38 crore from 17 accounts in four banks of south Kashmir for any suspected links to separatist groups or terrorists. Since last year, sleuths tallied on dates on which money was withdrawn from these accounts with stone-pelting or road blockades incidents in Kashmir Valley and conducted probes with these account holders, people connected to them and bank officials to probe the source of funds. However, nothing substantial proof of terror funding has been found till date.
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As per the paper, investigation was based on an input given by the Army that some bank accounts had suspicious transactions and withdrawals which may be oincided with stone-pelting incidents in the Valley. Most of these accounts were held by small businessmen in places like Pulwama and Kupwara in south Kashmir. A source told Indian express that in one case, the NIA found an account which was in the name of a plumber from Pulwama. Approximately Rs 18 lakh was received in this account, which was closed within four months after the amount was withdrawn in installments. However, the transactions had nothing to do with stone-pelting, paper said.