SRINAGAR: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) launched a series of raids across multiple locations in Jammu and Kashmir as part of a robust crackdown on the banned Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) in connection with a terrorism financing probe.
The raids spanned several districts including Srinagar, Jammu, Budgam, Kulgam, and Anantnag in Central and South Kashmir. During the operation, officials seized crucial evidence such as documents and digital devices associated with the functioning of JeI and its affiliated Trusts, along with a significant sum exceeding Rs 20 lakh.
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According to official sources, two people were detained in Jammu for questioning regarding activities linked to a private school and its officials, notably the chairman, in Bagh-e-Bahu and Belicharana. The NIA conducted searches at the residence of Ghulam Hussan’s son Shabir Hussain, presently residing in Shahabad Colony in Bagh-e-Bahu. Additionally, raids were conducted at the residence of Abdul Majeed Rather, son of Ghulam Qadir, in Gujjar Basti, Belicharana.
In Srinagar, NIA teams conducted operations at various locations including the residence of Javid Ahmad Haroon in Al Farooq Colony Bemina, Mohammad Rafiq Wani in Nudreshi Colony Muslimabad Bemina, and Javed Hakeem in Iqbal Abad Bemina. Three mobile phones, financial documents, and Hakeem’s identity card were confiscated, and Hakeem was taken to Rahat Manzil Yateem Trust where trust receipts were also seized. He was then instructed to report to the NIA office in Srinagar following the raid.
Further raids were carried out at Abdul Majeed Wani’s house in Balgarden, Srinagar, and Mohammad Iqbal Karada’s residence in Shahi Hamdani Lane Ahmad Nagar. In Kulgam, the NIA searched the homes of Sheikh Ghulam Hassan in Tarigam and Sayar Ahmad Reshi in Kahrote.
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The Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir faced a five-year ban from the Centre in February 2019. A probe initiated on February 5, 2021, revealed persistent advocacy for terrorist and separatist activities in J&K by JeI and its associates, despite the organisation being outlawed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in February 2019.
The investigation indicated that JeI and its affiliates amassed funds through domestic and international donations, primarily under the guise of ‘Zakat, Mowda, and Bait-ul-Mal’ to support charitable initiatives such as health and education, which were subsequently diverted for violent and separatist purposes. Funds were also channeled to banned terrorist groups like Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) through well-coordinated networks of JeI members.
Sources suggest JeI’s involvement in recruiting susceptible youth and new members (Rukuns) in J&K to advance its separatist agenda. The ongoing investigation by the NIA has previously led to charges against four people involved in these activities.