Attaching assets of terrorists

For the first time in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, since the onset of Pakistan sponsored and sustained terrorism, over a dozen assets in a terror financing case against Pakistan based terrorist and chief of Hizul Mujahideen , Salahuddin have been attached . It may be noted that this terror outfit is banned globally. The US Government in August 2017 had designated this terror organisation as “Foreign Terrorist Organisation”. Salahuddin is also the ‘chairman’ of the United Jehad Council , a conglomerate of various terror outfits operating in Kashmir valley. There has been a well knit and organised network of financing of terror and terror related activities in the state through proxies and under assumed names of organisations, money laundering has been one of the main sources . The action was taken by the Enforcement Directorate which is the central probing agency under the relevant provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). It is learnt that total properties thus attached carry a market value of over Rs.1.22 crore.
The move is in tune with various available measures needed to thwart and pre-empt the supply chain of money to sustain and carry on terror related violence which in fact should have been taken long back. Better late than never, as the action has now been taken, all through established legal recourses. A criminal case was filed in respect of money laundering following a charge sheet filed by National Investigating Agency (NIA) against Salahuddin , Mohamad Shafi Shah and others under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. To effectively take on infrastructure of terrorism which though appears to be in the process of gradual crumbling, yet continues to get sufficient oxygen for surviving in present form mainly due to two counts , the unstinted and organised support from Pakistan and the financial system which funds it, hence it is incumbent to freeze and attach assets related to terror funding. It is an admitted fact that for the last three years , due to high level scrutiny by the Central Government and its concerned agencies on the flow of funds, the supply chain is still not fully broken to shreds . The instant action under reference, however, was an effective step in that direction.
Besides conventional money laundering activities , the modus operandi of funding terrorism continues to be through fake Trusts and Organisations, the names and activities of whom are quite deceptive, misleading and disguised . In other words, for example a Trust called as JKART ( Jammu and Kashmir Affectees Relief Trust) in alleged connivance with the ISI and other Pakistan based entities is handled , supervised and run by Salahuddin who is the self styled ‘commander’ based out in Rawalpindi in Pakistan , terrorism is funded on Indian soil through monies organised by this “Trust”. It is well known that these ‘terror funds’ were routinely being sent to this country through the Hawala by sidestepping and bypassing authorised banking channels . Human carriers, besides barter trade proceeds, too played respective part in keeping the wheels of terror activities financially greased.
One of the reasons which prompts recruitment to the ranks of terrorists is the way funds are allegedly distributed in cash to the next of kin of active and dead terrorists of various terror outfits including the main one of Hizbul Mujahideen. To break the spine of terrorism and its infrastructure , it is extremely important that all their financial channels were totally blocked and dried up. It cannot be underestimated or trivialised that had stringent measures been taken during early years of the onset of terrorism towards breaking the funding network of terror network in Kashmir valley, perhaps the dimensions of the scourge would not have been of the magnitude being fought currently. Money sustains more than any other ’cause’ ,terror related activities right from stone pelting to major acts of violence and organised attacks in Kashmir.