The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday questioned various separatist leaders in the alleged hawala and terror funding from Pakistan-based terrorist groups. While JKLF leader Farookh Ahmad Dar was quizzed, a NIA official also said that the agency was also questioning two other separatist leaders Nayeem Khan and Ghazi Javed Baba in the case.
The agency’s action comes a day after its five member team arrived in Srinagar after registering a preliminary enquiry against Hurriyat’s hardcore wing chief Syed Ali Geelani and his close aide and Hurriyat provincial president Nayeem Khan, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Dar alias Bitta Karate and Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader Baba.
Probing the separatist leaders for allegedly receiving money from Lashkar-e-Taiba and other sources in Pakistan to fund stone-pelting and violent protests in Jammu and Kashmir, NIA officials have also asked the separatist leaders to produce certain documents for examination.
Earlier in the day, Geelani suspended Nayeem Khan’s National Front from the Hurriyat, even as Khan told media that the sting operation by a news channel was “doctored and fake”.
According to the investigating agency officials, the probe agency has collected the copies of at least 150 cases and are analysing these FIRs registered in the Valley recently, regarding damage caused to the schools and public property as part of the larger conspiracy to perpetuate violence and chaos in Kashmir.
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The probe agency’s move followed an expose by national news channel India Today purportedly showing Pakistan pumping money to stoke trouble in the valley in connivance with Hurriyat leaders.
The channel aired a sting on May 16 in which the Hurriyat leaders allegedly confessed to its reporter that they received money from Pakistan-based organisations routed through hawala.
Following the sting operation, the probe agency also identified the hotel in Srinagar in which the sting operation took place and it was completing formalities of identification of the room and collection of records.
The agency is also probing all angles, the official said.
Following the NIA probe into the funding, the Enforcement Directorate, which probes economic offences, had said that it would also join the NIA probe into the matter of funding through hawala channels – an illegal cash transfer system across borders run by money brokers.