Militant Funding: JK Bank Official Held

29 April 2008

Srinagar: The police in north Kashmir has claimed to have busted a network involved in exchanging foreign currency in the Jammu and Kashmir Bank and funneling huge amounts of money to militant groups. Five persons, including a bank manager, have been arrested, and the police has started investigations. Sources said that the police had been receiving confirmed reports for some time that some people had been exchanging Euros into Indian currency at the Dangi Wach branch of the J and K Bank in Baramulla and channeling the proceeds to militant groups. During preliminary investigations, three persons, identified as Muhammad Ramzan Lone and Nazir Ahmad Lone of Soyan Sadnaar, Dangi Wach, and Fayaz Ahmad Mir of Sheikhpur Dangi Wach, have been arrested. On further inquiry, the manager of the JK Bank’s Dangi Wach branch, Nasr Ahmad Shah of Ashpeer, Sopore, and the building owner, Malik Inayatuallah, have also been taken into custody. The three persons arrested initially are learnt to have been handed over to the SOG, Srinagar, for questioning, while the other tow are in the custody of the police. Confirming the arrests, the senior superintendent of the police (SSP) for Baramulla, Anand Jain, said that those arrested were in police remand. He said that so far they had converted Rs 18 lakh into Indian currency, and the bank records were being examined. He said that the exchanged currency had first been deposited in the accounts of the first three persons, and then routed to militants. He said that the case was being minutely investigated to get to the bottom of the affair. More revelations and arrests were expected in the course of time, he said. The case, registered under sections 17, 18, 19 and 22 of the Unlawful Activities Act, is being handled by deputy superintendent of police (DSP) for Baramulla.