NIA arrest of Hurriyat leaders should lead to nabbing of bigger fish: Experts

| Updated: Jul 25, 2017 04:42 IST

New Delhi [India], July 24 (ANI): Monday's move by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to arrest seven Hurriyat leaders on money laundering charges aimed at fomenting terror across the Kashmir Valley is just the tip of the iceberg, said experts. They were of the unanimous view that the arrest of these seven should not end up in a dead trail, but lead to the nabbing of bigger fish. "The kind of evidence that the NIA has obtained, it is obvious that some action would be taken. The investigation should not close just at these arrests, because, I think, the investigation should go on, as a lot more will topple with the NIA. This is just the beginning, not the end. Some leaders are major operatives of the Hurriyat, some of them were former militants who have now according to them, renounced the gun and become political activists," senior journalist Rahul Jalali told ANI. 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." 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. A short while back, six of the seven Hurriyat leaders were airlifted from Srinagar to Delhi by the NIA and brought to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters possibly for further interrogation before being produced in the Patiala House Court tomorrow. The accused have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The seven separatists include Naeem Khan , Bitta Karate, Altaf Funtus, Ayaz Akbar, T. Saifullah , Meraz Kalwal and Saheed Ul Islam. Six of them were arrested from Srinagar while Bitta Karate was arrested from New Delhi. 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. (ANI)