Narco case: NIA to file charge sheet against ten accused

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is all set to file a charge sheet against ten accused in connection with its probe into the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) narco case, alleging that the Pakistan-based commanders of the militant organisation conspired to raise money from India for the banned group, officials said.

“Today NIA is filing charge sheet against ten accused in HM narco case at NIA’s Special Court in Mohali,” an NIA official privy to the investigation requesting anonymity told news agency IANS.

The official said that arrest of Hilal Ahmed Wagay along with Rs 29 lakh on April 25, 2020 helped to bust the Hizbul Mujahideen narco-funding module.

“It has been established that militant gang in this case was smuggling, selling and channelising the proceeds to Pakistan through hawala and to Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Kashmir via their overground workers and other associates,” the official said.

The official said that the conspiracy between Hizbul commanders based in Pakistan and militant gang in India was to “raise money” for the banned militant organisation.

Of the ten accused being charge sheeted on Tuesday, seven have been arrested and two are absconding, reported IANS.

One accused Riyaz Naikoo, Hizbul Mujahideen commander, was killed in an encounter with security forces on May 6 this year in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to top NIA officials, on July 30 this year, the anti-militant probe agency’s sleuths raided the residence of Wagay, a truck driver, who was arrested by Punjab police on April 25 with over Rs 29 lakh in cash.

“This money was being transported to the Kashmir valley to be handed over to Naikoo, chief operational commander of Hizbul Mujahideen. The case has been re-registered and taken over on May 8,” the NIA had said.

Ranjit Singh and his accomplice Iqbal Singh alias Shera are the prime accused in a case registered in connection with a 532 kg heroin seizure at the Attari border in June last year by the customs Department. The narcotic was found hidden in a consignment of rock salt imported from Pakistan.

Ranjit is the key accused in the case that led to the arrest of Hilal Ahmed Wagay, a close aide of slain militant Naikoo. It said Ranjit and his five brothers were involved in smuggling and peddling drugs for years.