July 2017 News

NIA Identifies 48 Mob-handlers Who Disrupted Anti-terror Ops In Valley

25 July 2017

New Delhi: Following a detailed analysis of mobile phone locations, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has zeroed in on 48 youths, who orchestrated stone-pelting mobs to disrupt anti-terror operations in Kashmir. The NIA has also identified over 5,000 stone-pelters as part of its investigation in the terror-funding case, involving separatist Hurriyat leaders. The agency is probing the link between the stone-pelting and the separatists. 'As many as 48 hardcore stone-pelters, who would mobilise mobs and target sites of anti-terror operations, have been identified,' an NIA official said. The phone analysis also established that though these people lived far away, they were present in the vicinity of anti-terror operations' sites. The NIA has listed out the operations, with dates and locations, in a dossier, to establish the presence of these suspects. The agency had made a list of probable stone-pelters by identifying those active on social media and WhatsApp groups that had administrators in Pakistan. The exercise started after a rise in the number of attacks on Indian security forces last year, following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Wani. Earlier on May 30 this year, the NIA had registered a case to probe the link between Hurriyat Conference's separatist leaders and funding of terror outfits in Kashmir. The larger conspiracy of burning schools, stone-pelting, and waging a war against India was also a part of that investigation. Hafeez Saeed, Pakistan-based chief of Jamaat-ul-Dawah, the front of banned terrorist organisation Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT), had been named in the FIR as an accused, besides organisations such as the Hurriyat Conference (factions led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Farooq), terror outfit HM, and the all-woman separatist outfit Dukhtaran-e-Millat. On Monday, the NIA arrested seven separatist leaders in connection with the case, including Hurriyat leader Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Shahid-ul-Islam, Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Nayeem Khan, and Farooq Ahmed Dar. They were sent to 10-day NIA custody for further investigation. As part of the probe, the NIA had conducted several searches in Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, and Haryana and made recoveries including documents, electronic devices, cash, and other valuables worth crores.