Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency of India (NIA) on Friday raided a Srinagar based Businessman’s house and office in Lajpat Nagar, Delhi. While the reason behind the raid is unknown, the businessman Hilal Ahmad Rather says NIA professionally did its job and he is ready to cooperate with them.
Rather says he has shifted to Delhi around 20 years ago and runs a business of Shawls and Carpets there. He does not know about the case NIA is investigating however, he says the reason for the raid at his house and office is that the agency had caught a person in Chandni Chowk, Delhi. He had taken Rather’s name.
“Some person named Sajad was caught in Chandni Chowk. After torturing him, he had changed many statements and had taken my name as well. In the same regard, they had been to my place as well,” says Rather.
NIA has seized an amount of Rs 18 lakh, six mobile phones along with SIM cards and various documents from Rather’s place who says the agency members “behaved well with him and his family.”
“They behaved very nicely. I will not lie about it. They were cooperative and so were we,” says Rather. Asked why the cash was seized from his place, he replies, “They asked me if I had any cash, I took it all out and kept it in front of them. I am a businessman and my business is doing well. I need cash in hand every now and then. Also, we use the cash for daily chores of life.”
Reportedly, “the raid was conducted in connection with a case involving Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, an organization linked to militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).” According to reports, the NIA says the raids were a follow-up of the earlier searches conducted by NIA pertaining to the case in which the they have so far arrested three persons identified as Mohammad Salman, Mohammad Salim, both residents of New Delhi, and Sajjad Ahmad Wani, a resident of Srinagar.
Reports also suggest that the money received from Wani, at the time of his arrest in Jammu and Kashmir, belongs to Rather and this input led the NIA to conduct raids in Delhi. The statement can be verified with what Rather had to say about the raid.
A post by JK News Alert read, “The FIF funding module case is being probed by the NIA since July 2 when it filed an FIR under sections of criminal conspiracy of Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The NIA said that the arrested accused Salman, a resident of south Delhi’s Nizamuddin, was in regular touch with one Dubai-based Pakistani national, who in turn is connected with the Deputy Chief of FIF.”
It also quotes an NIA official saying, “Salman has been receiving funds, being sent by FIF operators and its associates, through hawala operators to further their activities and create unrest in India and carry out subversive activities.”
“Investigation is continuing to unearth the larger conspiracy, collect evidence and arrest the other accused belonging to the FIF which was designated as a terrorist entity by the US in 2010,” the report further reads.
However, when Free Press Kashmir tried to contact NIA’s information portal, the official denied having information regarding the raids.
NIA has been conducting raids in Kashmir and parts of India in connection with the ‘alleged terror funding’ case in which many Hurriyat leaders are being held in judicial custody in Tihar since last year. Many businessmen and journalists were also summoned by the NIA in connection with the ‘funding case’.
Watali was arrested on August 17, 2017, and was charge-sheeted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on January 18 along with Pakistan-based Hafiz Saeed, Syed Salahuddin, seven Kashmiri pro-freedom leaders and others in the case of alleged terror funding in the Kashmir Valley.