Pak-funding probe: NIA seeks details of stone-pelters from media groups in Valley
The agency has made this request in connection with its probe into the funding of “subversive and anti-national activities” in the Valley.india Updated: Jul 08, 2017 17:41 IST
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has “requested” newspapers and television channels in Jammu and Kashmir to reveal the names and addresses of people involved in the violent agitations that erupted after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter last year.
The agency has made this request in connection with its probe into the funding of “subversive and anti-national activities” in the Valley.
Official sources said the agency has sought articles and news items mentioning the names and addresses of those involved in stone-pelting, burning of schools, and damage to government property. At least four major newspapers that operate from Srinagar have also been asked to provide documents and photographs in this connection.
It is believed that national newspapers and channels may also be approached with a similar request in the coming days.
“We had sent the letter on June 29. Responses from the news outlets are expected soon,” said a senior NIA official. “This is just a routine request. The items being sought will help us identify the people involved in last year’s violence.”
Over 100 people were killed in clashes with security forces during the six-month-long agitation that followed Wani’s death in a gunfight with security forces on July 8, 2016. Last month, the NIA filed an FIR against Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafeez Saeed, besides organisations such as the Hizbul Mujahideen, Hurriyat Conference and the Dukhtaran-e-Millat.
The probe agency is now investigating whether the separatist groups received funds from Pakistan to organise street protests in the Valley.
A home ministry official said the NIA recovered as many as 193 digital devices in raids conducted at the residences of several separatists last month. “The agency is waiting for central forensic laboratory reports on these devices. Once the NIA receives a mirror image of the devices, it will start analysing them for evidence,” he told HT.
However, the process is likely to be a time-consuming one. “As central forensic laboratories are short-staffed, it may take a little more time to analyse the devices. There are dozens of SIM cards, memory cards, mobile phones and laptops that need to be carefully examined,” the official added.