2016 case: NIA has ‘no substantial evidence’

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the Hawala trail into Kashmir has reportedly not found any substantial evidence in “fund transaction” to separatists in its Preliminary Enquiry (PE) registered last year, sources said on Thursday.
2016 case: NIA has ‘no substantial evidence’
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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the Hawala trail into Kashmir has reportedly not found any substantial evidence in "fund transaction" to separatists in its Preliminary Enquiry (PE) registered last year, sources said on Thursday. There are little chances of PE being converted into a First Information Report (FIR), they said.

The NIA had registered the PE in the third week of August last year to carry out investigation into "flow of funds" into some "suspicious" bank accounts in Kashmir which were allegedly used to "financially support the 2016 uprising" in Kashmir.

A high-level NIA team had questioned some people, including Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai and Pir Saifullah, in connection with the case. The team had also served notice to one of the sons of Syed Ali Geelani, chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (G). However, he was not questioned later.

The NIA team those days had also obtained documents from bank officials as banks are obliged to share information with the probe agency under Section 91 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc) and 43-F of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), the sources said.

"We verified about 17 bank accounts, but could not find any erratic transaction," a senior NIA official involved in the investigations told this newspaper.  "No evidence of terror funding or financial aid to stone-throwers has been found so far in that case."

He said the accounts that were screened belonged to individuals. "We also investigated their association with separatist and militant groups," he said.

The official said that PE is converted into FIR when there is enough evidence. "There are very less chances of conversion of the PE registered in August 2016 into an FIR," he said, adding that so far the PE has not been closed.

He said they are waiting for the outcome of the case which was registered for "fund transactions" recently in which some separatist leaders were grilled. The NIA had also raided the residences of several separatist leaders and they were even grilled at the New Delhi headquarters of the probe agency.

The probe agency in last week of May had converted a PE into FIR which alleges that Hurriyat leaders "received funds from Pakistan" to fund unrest in Kashmir. The FIR mentions Hafiz Saeed apart from Hizbul Mujahideen and Dukhtaran-e-Millat.

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