March 2019 News

Palatial Bungalows, Mills Acquired Through Terror Funding Operations Identified In Kashmir

25 March 2019
India Today
Abhishek Bhalla

New Delhi: Intelligence agencies have identified 19 properties including palatial bungalows, huge plots of land, nursing homes and plywood mills linked to terror funding operations and owned by individuals associated with Kashmiri separatists. This includes ten properties in the name of Zahoor Ahmed Shah Watali, businessman currently serving term in Tihar jail on allegations of terror funding in a case being investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has put together a dossier with details of properties acquired through terror financing in Kashmir by several individuals. Violent street protests, demonstrations and stone pelting on security forces are also being funded through the terror financing networks. Kashmiri terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Sallaudin's house in Islamabad, Pakistan is also on the list. As part of a crackdown on terror funding, the government has been seizing properties belonging to terror financiers. In total, properties of 13 persons have been identified by NIA in this connection. In a separate action, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has already zeroed in on proceeds of such crime and has begun action to freeze and seize such assets. Ongoing investigation in the first phase has determined and quantified assets valued at over Rs 7 crore as proceeds of terror funding crimes. 'Money obtained through these channels is also being used by major secessionist formations, particularly Hurriyat Conference. These funds are used for maintaining top APHC leadership and also the massive propaganda machinery being used to instigate hatred among the people of Jammu and Kashmir towards the government of India. It is also being utilised to sustain the spreading of false information through media contacts, newspapers and social media,' the report says. According to investigation, funds have been provided to terror groups and madrasas and mosques for carrying out recruitment and plan attacks on security forces. 'Extensive use of such funds is also being made to finance institutions focussed on subverting the local population including through selected mosques, madrasas and organisations like recently banned Jamat-e-Islami (Jammu and Kashmir). These then form a fertile pool of vulnerable young minds, which can be poisoned and exploited as gun fodder for violent activities aimed at destabilisating the state,' the report added.