4 On Trial For Funding Hizbul Mujahideen In Valley

4 On Trial For Funding Hizbul Mujahideen In Valley

3 March 2012
Times of India


New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday framed charges against a close aide of Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani and three others, arrested for allegedly running a hawala racket to fund terrorism in the Kashmir valley. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) accuses these men of helping the banned terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen. Clearing the decks for their trial, district judge HS Sharma framed charges under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against Ghulam Mohd Bhat, considered to be Geelani's close aide, Mohd Siddiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga. The accused are in Tihar jail under judicial custody. 'The charges have been explained to each accused in detail. They have pleaded not guilty,' the judge said adding the trial would commence from April 16. Last year the NIA had charge sheeted the four, indicting them for procuring over Rs 4.57 crore from Pakistan through hawala channels from 2008 for funding terrorist activities in the Valley. The Special Cell of Delhi Police, on January 22 last year, nabbed Srinagar-based lawyer Bhat, Ganai, Liloo and Dagga from Jammu and Kashmir on a tip-off that they were carrying hawala money, allegedly meant for terror outfits in the valley. It had also recovered Rs 21.20 lakh from them. The case was later handed over to the NIA. During investigations, the NIA as well as the police questioned Geelani, who reportedly said that he had received funds from various sources but had no links with Bhat in hawala dealings. The NIA, in its charge sheet said, 'Funds through hawala channels werebeing sent to Jammu and Kashmir for funding terror and secessionist acts in the state and Pakistan-based Maqbool Pandit, a member of banned Hizbul Mujahideen and Aizaz Maqbool Bhat, at present living in Saudi Arabia, were the key accused behind it.' It added 'the investigation had revealed that huge consignments' of funds have been collected at various places in Delhi and one of the accused, Mohd Sidiq Ganai was in touch with ISI operatives Major Iqbal, an accused charge-sheeted for carrying out various terror strikes including the 26-11 Mumbai attacks, and Col Abdullah. Detailing their modus operandi, the NIA claims Ganai developed a close relationship with Delhi-based Raj Kumar and his brother-in-law Rajeev Nankani and motivated them to collect money on their behalf from hawala operatives here.