NIA quizzes 10 linked to JeI in terror-funding case
- The questioning comes weeks after NIA on August 8 carried out raids at 56 locations linked to the group in Jammu and Kashmir.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has questioned 10 individuals associated with banned Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), Jammu and Kashmir in connection with a terror funding case, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.
The questioning comes weeks after NIA on August 8 carried out raids at 56 locations linked to the group in Jammu and Kashmir. In all, 10 individuals linked to JEI, most of them senior office-bearers, have been questioned in national capital Delhi during the past week about the source of funds, utilization of funds, key players in India and links with Pakistan, a person aware of the matter said on condition of anonymity.
According to NIA, JeI’s Kashmir chapter raised donations in India and abroad, ostensibly for charity, but diverted the funds raised to finance violence and secessionist activities.
In a statement issued after the raids in August, NIA said the funds raised by the group “are also being channelised to proscribed terrorist organisations such as Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and others through well organised networks of JeI cadres”.
People aware of the details said more Jamaat functionaries will be called for questioning in the coming days as NIA looks to unearth the terror-funding network, links with separatist leaders, madrasas run by the organisation and foreign trips by its office-bearers.
The Jamaat-e-Islami came into existence in 1941, spearheaded by Moulana Abul Alla Madoodi and with its headquarters at Lahore. After Partition, JeI Hindi separated from this body and established its headquarters in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh. Its Kashmir chapter, established in 1945, started following directions from Pakistan’s JeI after J&K’s accession to India.
JEI, J&K, was banned in February 2019 after the Pulwama terror attack in 2019, in which 40 Indian troopers were killed and which brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war. The ban was upheld in September 2019 by a tribunal set up to review the decision under the anti-terror law, which noted that 179 criminal cases were filed against individuals linked to the group including 10 cases being probed by NIA.
Over 100 JeI members, including its chief Abdul Hameed Fayaz were arrested by the J&K Police after the group was banned. Fayaz continues to be behind bars.
A senior official said JeI, J&K is intrinsically linked with the United Jehad Council based in Pakistan, which is the “umbrella organisation” of all major terrorist outfits.