The politics intensified over the arrest of seven Kashmiri separatists by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on the charges of on money laundering charges to fund terror in the Kashmir Valley. The NIA team brought six arrested Kashmiri separatists, affiliated with Hurriyat, at the headquarters of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) late Monday night. Six of the seven Hurriyat leaders were airlifted from Srinagar to Delhi by the NIA. They are Naeem Khan, Altaf Funtus, Ayaz Akbar, T. Saifullah , Meraz Kalwal and Saheed Ul Islam. The seventh separatist Bitta Karate was arrested from New Delhi.
The accused have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The arrested Hurriyat leaders are likely to be interrogated before being presented before a Patiala House court on Tuesday. Tonight’s development came even as there were mixed political responses on the NIA’s move to arrest the seven Hurriyat leaders for fuelling terror activities in the Kashmir Valley. While some hailed the move, others described it as a tactic to suppress voices being raised against the Centre. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dubbed the arrested Hurriyat leaders as “murderers and traitors”.
“They will be punished. The law will take its own course. People of Hurriyat are murderers and traitors. They have destroyed Jammu and Kashmir through the support of Pakistan and China. In future, you will see big Hurriyat leaders behind the bars,” BJP MLA from Jammu and Kashmir Ravinder Raina told ANI.
Jammu And Kashmir Congress Chief G.A. Mir said the central government was trying to suppress voices in the valley that were being raised against it through the NIA.
“If someone is involved in wrongdoing, then action should be taken against them. But, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is using these agencies for their petty politics. Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing the same situation that Gujarat witnessed when Narendra Modi was chief minister of the state. It is a tactic to suppress voices which are being raised against them,” Mir told ANI.
National Panthers Party (NPP) Chief Patron, Bhim Singh remained unperturbed with the arrest and said the arrested ones are ‘butterflies’ while the ‘big fishes’ are still roaming free. “Today, they are arresting some butterflies. What about those in Jammu and Kashmir who are encouraging a mutiny against the Government of India,” Bhim Singh said. Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said, “The Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the Centre will not tolerate such anti-national elements. For decades, they have been creating and spreading chaos and disorder with the help of Pakistan,” Singh told ANI.
The Deputy Chief Minister also criticized Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for describing such arrests as ‘drama’. Earlier in the day, NIA Inspector General Alok Mittal told ANI, “We had registered a terror-funding case related to Jammu and Kashmir on May 30 this year under various sections of the IPC and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Thereafter, we conducted wide ranging searches in several cities and collected incriminating documentary and electronic evidence. We have also seized a large amount of cash. Based on the evidence we have collected and subsequent examinations of the persons today, we have arrested seven persons –six from Srinagar and one from Delhi.”
Watch this video:
He further said that the evidences which have been collected so far clearly prove the financial trail and the direct link between terror activities and its (money laundered) funding.
The NIA visited Srinagar in May to probe the alleged funding by Pakistan for illegal activities in Kashmir, and questioned several separatist leaders on the issue of raising, collecting and transferring funds via the Hawala route and other channels to fund terror activities in Kashmir.
NIA sleuths specifically questioned separatist leaders Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate and Gazi Javed Baba at that time. The NIA is said to be probing all aspects of funding to separatist leaders and how they reportedly used these funds to fuel unrest in the Kashmir Valley.