NIA trying to turn hawala operators as approvers against separatists.
New Delhi: In an attempt to make the case of terror funding against separatist leaders fool-proof, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is trying to turn some hawala operators in the case as approvers. Sources said due to security considerations, the identity of these people is being protected, but once the case comes up for trial in court, the NIA will ensure that some of these suspects turn approvers against the separatist leaders and get their statements recorded during an in camera trial. Sources said the NIA will ask for an in-camera proceeding in order to maintain secrecy of those who turn approvers.
“In wake of the prevailing security situation in the Kashmir Valley, we will try for an in camera proceeding so that the identity of these men can be protected. The in-camera trial will ensure that the proceedings are not open to public. The other option is that the we can request the concerned judge to record the statements of these approvers directly in the chamber,’’ an investigating official said.
The NIA had carried out nationwide raids in May targeting some hawala operators and separatist leaders and had recovered Rs 2 crore of unaccounted cash, including some foreign currency, incriminating documents, pen drives and hard disks of some computers.
The investigating agency is also trying to make some of these hawala dealers who were raided turn approvers in the case.
So far, the NIA has arrested seven separatist leaders in connection with the case, including Altaf Ahmed, son-in-law of hardline separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani. The NIA has also summoned Geelani’s two sons in connection with the same case and they are likely to be questioned on Tuesday, sources added.
This is the first time that any Central agency has launched such a major crackdown against separatist leaders in the Valley to check flow of money for subversive activities.
“Considering the sensitive nature of the case we are moving with extreme caution and trying to get concrete evidence to secure conviction of the accused persons. Getting some of the suspects turn approvers is also part of the same plan,’’ the official added.
The NIA in its FIR in the terror funding case has named Hafiz Saeed, chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa which also acts as a front for terror group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba along with organisations like Hurriyat Conference, Hizbul Mujahideen and Dukhtaran-e-Millat.