Srinagar: In a pre-dawn swoop, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Saturday raided 23 locations in Kashmir, Haryana and New Delhi in connection with a case of alleged funding received for carrying out subversive activities in the Valley.
After registering an FIR earlier this week, various NIA teams, which had been camping in the Valley for few days, moved under heavy escort from their camp office located at Humhama, on the outskirts of the Srinagar city.
Among those raided by the NIA were Altaf Fantoosh, the son-in-law of octogenarian pro-freedom leader Syed Ali Geelani, businessman Zahoor Watali, Shahid-ul-Islam, leader of Awami Action Committee led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, and some second rung pro-freedom leaders belonging to both factions of the Hurriyat Conference and the JKLF.
The agency seized nearly Rs 1.5 crore from various locations in the Kashmir Valley, besides documents which were being scrutinised, officials said.
This is for the first time since militancy started in early 1990s that a central probe agency has carried out raids in connection with funding to pro-freedom parties and leaders.
Earlier in 2002, Income Tax department had carried out searches against Geelani, however, no criminal case had been registered then.
While no pro-freedom leader from the Valley has been named in the FIR registered by the NIA, organisations like the Hurriyat Conference (factions led by Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq), Hizbul Mujahideen, Dukhtaran-e-Milat and Lashker-e- Taiba besides Pakistan-based chief of Jamaat-ul Dawah Hafeez Saeed have been mentioned.
The NIA, which had earlier registered a Preliminary Enquiry, also raided around eight hawala dealers and traders in New Delhi, besides two in Sonepat, Haryana. PTI