A “deep-rooted” terrorist recruitment and funding module of Tehreek-ul Mujahideen Jammu & Kashmir (TuMJK) has been busted in Kupwara district of north Kashmir, the police said on Thursday.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police along with the Indian Army arrested Bilal Ahmed Dar, a module member, from Cheerkote area in Kupwara.
“After thorough interrogation, the individual revealed that he along with five other people from different parts of north Kashmir was running a terror funding racket under the garb of a fake NGO called “Islahi Falahi Relief Trust” (IFRT) which claimed to provide monetary assistance to poor and needy families.
According to the police, Bilal was actively involved in coordinating the funding activities and aiding recruitment by organizing “Ijtema” meetings in different villages. In these meetings, Bilal and other members of the module would try to lure young people to join them in anti-national activities.
During the course of interrogation, he revealed the names of other accomplices – Wahid Ahmed Bhatt of Kachloo, Javed Ahmed Najar of Baramulla, Mushtaq Ahmed Najar and Bashir Ahmed Mir, both from Sopore.
Bilal’s cousin Zubair Ahmed Dar was also actively involved in activities of the module, the police informed.
The module was being controlled by Pakistan-based handlers to aid the operations of ‘Tehreek-e-ul Mujahideen Jammu & Kashmir’ in north Kashmir. Module members would receive instructions from Ghulam Rasool Shah, a native of Kupwara; Mohammad Sultan Peer of Kupwara; Yousaf Baloch alias Osama alias Qureshi and one Hamza alias Mushtaq – all based in Pakistan.
The modus operandi of the module was to visit villages and collect money in the name of charity and scout for potential soft targets as recruits.
“The accounts in the NGO’s name were being used to launder money for the TuMJK which was also responsible for sticking anti-national posters around the 15th of August and during the visit of the Union home minister to Baramullah,” said the police.
During interrogation, Bilal admitted to hoisting a Pakistani flag inside Markazi Jamia Masjid in Kupwara on August 14, on the eve of India’s Independence Day, on the instructions of his Pakistani handlers.
The group was also actively collecting explosive materials to be used in IEDs, the police further said.
“Wahid Ahmed Bhatt alias Tauheed was the mastermind behind the recruitment and terrorist funding module, the police stated.
A huge quantity of arms, ammunition, and raw material for making IEDs and incriminating materials have also been recovered from all the apprehended individuals.
Five pistols, ten magazines, 49 pistol rounds and two grenades, an IED are among a huge cache of arms of have been recovered from arrested module members.
Police have registered a case under relevant sections of the Arms Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act at Kupwara police station.