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Documents show terrorists turn to separatists for finances

The recent raids by National Investigation Agency (NIA) on separatist leaders have revealed how the terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen were turning to separatists for finances time to time.

According to reports, during the raids, the NIA has recovered several letters from separatist leaders which show that the terrorists were demanding funds from them ranging from thousands of rupees to lakhs. Several separatist leaders are currently under NIA custody for funding the turmoil in Kashmir through the money coming from Pakistan. The amount received by the separatists from Pakistan in the last one year could run into several hundred crores.

The NIA has found a letter written by Jammu & Kashmir Hizbul Mujahideen to Ayaz Akbar Khandey, a close aide of Tehreek-e Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Khandey is among the separatist leaders currently under NIA custody.

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The letter, which was written on the terror outfit’s letter head, reads, “Rs 5 lakh is urgently needed to tide over the immediate financial crunch arising out of demonetisation.” It could be noted that the unrest in Kashmir valley was on a backburner following the demonetisation.

“We are in dire need of money at this time as we are not getting payments from outside due to present (security) situation and demonetisation. Inshallah we will wait for you for four days. If you do anything, then you will be responsible for yourself and family,” reads the letter.

Another letter, dated 17 March, 2006, written by Hizbul Mujahideen area commander Burkan to Nayeem Khan – a close aide of separatist leader Shabir Shah who is currently under NIA custody – reads, “We are in dire need of Rs 7,000 or Rs 10,000. Also if you can leave a mobile phone with us…” The letter has been recovered from Khan’s residence during the NIA raid.

A third letter, written by the Jammu & Kashmir unit of the LeT to Hurriyat Conference reads, “…Our friend is unwell and he is in dire need of Rs 5,000. We hope you won’t disappoint us…” The NIA sleuths have recovered the letter from Shahid-ul-Islam, the political advisor of moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

During the raids, the NIA has also found photographs of Hurriyat leader Shahidul-Islam with Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddinand. One of the photographs shows the Hurriyat leader wielding an AK-47 rifle.

Meanwhile, CRPF Director General Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar has revealed that stone-pelting incidents in Kashmir Valley have been reduced by half this year. While 1590 incidents of stone pelting were reported last year, only 424 stone pelting incidents have been reported so far this year.

According to Bhatnagar there are several factors instrumental for the improvement in the situation. These include new standard operating procedures, a new strategy to deal with the mob, action taken by other agencies like NIA against the organisers of such incidents and joint operation by forces.

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