Srinagar, August 29: National Investigation Agency (NIA) with assistance from the security forces has found that not only the present unrest, but several other incidents in the past months are directly related to suspicious transfers in bank accounts of local Kashmiri residents.
In a Tribune Report for instance, a top NIA official had informed, “The NIA’s intelligence wing has found that before and after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s killing, there are six to seven instances where money was distributed just to fuel the unrest. In some cases, the money was transferred just a few days before a stone-throwing incident took place,” said a top NIA officer.
Sources in the security forces based in Kashmir have also confirmed that there is an inflow of money which can be linked to the rising agitations.
“Since July 9 there have been 439 non-violent protests and 463 stone-throwing incidents. State and security forces properties have been damaged or destroyed at 81 locations. All these incidents cannot take place without money. Money has been pumped into the state to fuel such unrest,” said an official.
In relation to the current scenario, the NIA said so far Rs 35 crore had been pumped into at least 25 bank accounts of two banks, including Jammu and Kashmir Bank.
“Out of this, a few lakhs have been distributed to fuel incidents of stone-throwing and other such activities of unrest, as per our analysis,” said an NIA officer.
These accounts belong to small trading firms and certain individuals whose income as per their professions doesn’t warrant such transactions. For example, two people under the NIA’s scrutiny are a carpenter based in Kupwara and a “small time” businessman of south Kashmir.
An NIA team in Kashmir is ascertaining whether the money is linked to militants based in Kashmir or Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. “The possible sources of the funds could be narco terrorism or hawala transactions,” said another NIA officer, adding that individuals under the agency’s scrutiny are being questioned to find out about the procurement of the funds and their disbursal.
Another NIA officer explained that the flow of funds in J&K to fuel unrest has been happening since 2009. “From 2009 until Wani’s death, crores of rupees have been pumped into the state to fuel agitations,” said the officer.