Intelligence agencies probing suspected hawala deals.
New Delhi: Initial investigations by intelligence agencies and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have revealed that Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief and found of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Hafiz Saeed, may well have directly masterminded pumping funds through the hawala channels into Kashmir Valley to foment trouble following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani last July. NIA has already lodged a case in connection with hawala funding to separatist leaders in the Valley and with assistance from intelligence agencies launched a full scale probe into the entire network.
Top intelligence sources said they were moving with extreme caution in the matter as they want to gather concrete evidence and build a fool-proof case specially against some of the senior separatist leaders associated with the Hurriyat. Senior officials from NIA and intelligence agencies are camping in Srinagar in connection with the investigations.
NIA has summoned some separatist leaders, including Naeem Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar, Gazi Javed Baba and few others in the hawala funding case. Sources said intelligence inputs have confirmed that the scale of unrest witnessed in the Valley over the past few months would not have been possible without adequate “financial support’’ from Pakistan based subversive elements.
“We have concrete information that Hafiz Saeed was responsible for sending funds through the hawala network to take advantage of the situation post Wani’s killing. Now in the course of investigations, we hope to gather some concrete evidence against some of the separatist elements who may have received this money and distributed it further among the agitators. It is a complex and long investigation but we will unearth the entire hawala network for funding,’’ a senior intelligence official said. The NIA has also taken cognisance of recent television sting in which some of the separatists are seen claiming that they indeed received funds through hawala channels.
Investigating officials said it was now certain that stone pelters were being paid money to target security forces in the Valley. In fact, sources said some of the agitators, particularly school students who were seen recently indulging in stone pelting, were even promised smartphones by some of the separatists and overground workers.
As part of its strategy to contain violence in the Valley, the Centre has issued a clear directive to security agencies cut the flow of funds to separatists and OGWs as this would have a direct impact on the intensity of agitation.
“If one was to analyse the trend in the Valley, it is clear that ever since we have launched this drive against hawala funding incidents of stone pelting and agitation have reduced considerably,’’ a security official said. Both NIA and intelligence agencies are also trying to zero down on the hawala operators who might have been responsible in facilitating funds for the separatists.