National Investigation Agency (NIA) teams on Saturday carried out raids at over 14 places in Srinagar and at eight places in the national capital in connection with alleged terror funding in the valley by Pakistan-based terrorist groups.
In the ongoing raids, houses of three separatist leaders -- Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader Ghazi Javed Baba, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Farooq Ahmed Dar also known as Bitta Karate and suspended Hurriyat leader Nayeem Khan, who confessed to receiving funds from Pakistan to incite trouble in Kashmir in videos released by the India Today TV channel, were searched.
Simultaneous raids were also being carried out in Delhi which includes areas in Ballimaran and Chandni Chowk, officials said.
The raids came in the wake of a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Hurriyat Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and his close aide and Hurriyat provincial President Nayeem Khan, Dar and Baba on May 19.
The raids in the national capital were carried out as the separatist leaders confessed in the sting operation video that they received funds from Pakistan via middlemen based in Ballimaran and Chandni Chowk.
A senior NIA official told IANS: "The PE has been converted into an FIR against LeT chief Hafiz Saeed and other Pakistan based terror agencies."
The FIR, however, does not name any of the separatist leaders.
India Today news channel had aired a sting on May 16, in which the separatist leaders were allegedly seen in conversation with the reporter confessing that they received money from Pakistan through hawala channels.
The three separatist leaders were earlier questioned by the agency in Delhi on Monday and Tuesday.
Between May 19 to May 22, the counter-terror agency also questioned Baba and Dar for four consecutive days in Srinagar, regarding their alleged involvement in raising and receiving funds through hawala. Khan was also grilled on May 19.
On May 20, the NIA had collected details of 13 accused and chargesheeted those involved in cases of arson attacks on schools and public property in Kashmir.
The NIA officials had said that the agency was probing all aspects of funding of separatist leaders and use of these funds in fuelling the unrest in the Valley after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016.
The separatist leaders were alleged to have received money from Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and other sources in Pakistan to fund stone-pelting and violent protests in Jammu and Kashmir.
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