NEW DELHI, Aug 19: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has put Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin on its wanted list. He is accused of systematically channelling money to the families of terrorists killed in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
The step to declare Salahuddin a “proclaimed offender” has been taken after a nearly year-long investigation by the NIA, which has revealed that the Hizbul Mujahideen chief is backing a charitable organisation in Pakistan, named the Jammu & Kashmir Affectees Relief Trust (JKART).
This organisation was formed in 1990 for running refugee camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) for Kashmiris who crossed over to Pakistan after militancy broke out in J&K in the 1990s.
JKART has its head office in Rawalpindi and branches in Islamabad and Muzaffarabad in PoK.
It has been channelling money through hawala and human couriers to the families in J&K whose men have been killed by security forces in India.
The NIA probe shows Salahuddin has also used JKART as a front to fund terror activities in Pulwama, Kupwara, Sopore, Budgam, Doda, Baramula and Srinagar.
The investigation into this particular case – lodged on September 7, 2011 – shows Salahuddin pumped in Rs 80 crore into J&K in the last two years for terror activities.
This is the first such case registered by the NIA regarding terror-funding arriving in J&K from Pakistan. Though Salahuddin has a Red Corner Notice pending against him since 1998, India wants to create fresh pressure on Pakistan by declaring Salahuddin a wanted accused in the present case and also clamp down on the activities of JKART.
“The last two years have seen record peace in J&K with terror dipping and tourist arrivals at an alltime high. But organisations such as the JKART are trying to vitiate the atmosphere by instigating youth by sending money to the families of terrorists killed in the Valley,” a senior home ministry official said.
“We want to check this and put pressure on Pakistan to force JKART to stop its activities,” he added.
Along with Salahuddin, three Pakistanis have also been declared wanted offenders by the NIA. They are – JKART chairman in Pakistan, Mehboob Ul Haq alias Umar Farooq, JKART general secretary Masroor Ahmad Dar and Gulam Nabi Khan.
All four are accused of waging a war against the country under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The wanted notice by NIA on the 66-yearold Salahuddin, who is also the chairman of the United Jehad Council in Pakistan, mentions his real name – Mohammad Yousuf Shah.
The notice intriguingly does not carry Salahuddin’s photograph though it is widely available on the Internet – the CBI also does not have his photograph on the Interpol Notice that is pending against him since 1998.
The NIA has also blamed the Hizbul Mujahideen for the blast at the Delhi High Court on September 7, 2011, that killed 15 people.
NIA has chargesheeted six Hizbul Mujahideen cadre from Kishtwar in J&K – Wasim Akram Malik, Amir Abbas Dev, Abid Hussain Bhawani, Amir Ali Kamal, Junaid Akram Malik and Shakir Hussain Sheikh – in the HC blast case.