SRINAGAR: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday conducted raids at multiple locations in Kashmir linked to the banned Islamic outfit Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), Jammu and Kashmir as a part of its investigation into a terror funding case.
Teams of NIA along with the Jammu and Kashmir Police and CRPF began early morning on Wednesday in central, south and northern Kashmir in connection with a case registered by probe agency against Jamaat-e-Islami.
JeI was banned by the Central government on February 28, 2019 — shortly after the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed.
The case was registered by the NIA in pursuance to an order from the Ministry of Home Affairs relating to “separatist and secessionist activities of JeI, an unlawful association under the UA (P) Act, even after its proscription on February 28, 2019”.
According to official sources, the raids were carried out at the residences of JeI members Abdul Hamid Shah, Shahzada Awarng Zeeb, Mohammad Ashraf Challa, Rayaz Ahmad Aharar and Rafee Ahmad Aharar in Shopian town.
Rayaz Ahmad is an employee at J&K Bank and Rafee is owner of a private vehicle company located in Pulwama.
In Baramulla, raids were conducted at many residential premises of many persons including former Jamaat-e-Islami district president Abdul Gani Wani.
“During the searches on Wednesday, various incriminating documents and electronic devices were seized from the premises of the suspects,” officials said, adding that further investigation was underway.
In a statement, the NIA had earlier said: “The members of the organisation have been collecting funds domestically and abroad through donations particularly in the form of zakat (donation), Mowda and Bait-ul-Mal purportedly to further charity and other welfare activities but these funds are being used for violent and secessionist activities instead.”
“The funds raised by JeI are also being channelised to militants such as Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and other terror outfits through well organised networks of JeI cadres. JeI has also been motivating impressionable youth of Kashmir and recruiting new members (rukuns) in Jammu and Kashmir to participate in disruptive secessionist activities,” it said.
Founded in 1942, Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir has a strong cadre base across the erstwhile state. It is different from the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and is aligned towards the Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan.
In 1990, when terrorism erupted in the Valley, the Hizbul Mujahideen called itself the military wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami. Hundreds of its activists were killed by the counter-insurgency militia Ikhwan in the mid-90s. Jamaat-e-Islami distanced itself from militancy in 1997.