Multi-agency body to track all terrorism cases in Jammu and Kashmir
The group was initially set up to evaluate evidence when the Centre had decided to declare Jammat-e-Islami (Jammu and Kashmir) and the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) as banned organisations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.Updated: Jun 16, 2019 10:11 IST
A multi-disciplinary terror monitoring group, which is led by the Jammu and Kashmir Police and includes representatives from the Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency and the income tax department, will now expand its ambit to monitor the progress of all terror-related cases in the Valley, officials aware of the developments said on Saturday.
The group was initially set up to evaluate evidence when the Centre had decided to declare Jammat-e-Islami (Jammu and Kashmir) and the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) as banned organisations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
“The group will continue to monitor major terror-related cases. The primary motive is to ensure that terror-related cases, especially those before the courts, do not fall between two stools for lack of evidence. That is why the J&K Police has been made the fulcrum,” a senior official of the ministry of home affairs said on condition of anonymity.
In the first six months of this year, security forces have killed 111 militants, including some top commanders of terror outfits in different parts of Kashmir. In the deadliest terror attack in the Valley, 40 troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed in a suicide attack in Pulwama in February. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.
Investigative agencies are also looking into cases of terror funding, with Kashmiri separatist leaders such as Shabir Shah, Asiya Andrabi and Masarat Alam Bhat being investigated over such charges. Arrested by the NIA, the three separatists have been sent to judicial custody till July 12.
A second official said the NIA’s terror financing investigations in Jammu and Kashmir have revealed a steady flow of funds for terrorist activities. Pakistan-based Hafiz Saeed, the chief of the banned terror group Jammat-ud- Dawa, Hizbul Mujahedeen chief Syed Salahuddin and other Hurriyat leaders are key accused in the terror-financing case that the monitoring group will track, the official said.
Another official said that Masarat Alam Bhat is believed to have told the NIA that Pakistan regularly sends funds through the hawala route.
A fourth official, asking not to be named, said the funds are often used to organise unrest in J&K and “significant evidence relating to funding of these separatists elements through Pakistan and UAE-based businessmen… has been collected and presented to the NIA special court”.