NIA raids houses of 4 LoC traders

An NIA team on way to search a house in Baramulla on Sunday. —Excelsior/Aabid Nabi
An NIA team on way to search a house in Baramulla on Sunday. —Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, July 28: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today carried out fresh raids in Baramulla district of North Kashmir in connection with cross Line of Control (LoC) trade being used for funding militancy in Kashmir.
An NIA team accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir Police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) arrived this morning and conducted searches of houses of four LoC traders.
The searches were conducted at the residence of Tanveer Ahmad at Cherdari area of Baramulla, Asif Lone at Kanlibagh Baramulla, Tariq Ahmad at Bilal Colony Kanlibagh Baramulla and Bilal Bhat at Kanispora Baramulla. Bhat’s office at Guru Nanak Road in Baramulla was also searched by the NIA.
All the four persons are businessmen who were dealing cross-LoC trade which stands stalled after Government banned it following Pulwama attack on February 14 this year. Sources said that Cell phones, documents, currency and gold were seized from their houses during the raids. The documents pertaining to the LoC trade were also recovered.
The raids started at around 6 a.m and continued till 10:30 a.m and all of them were then taken to Police station Baramulla where they were questioned till 6 p.m. They were let off in the evening.
The NIA early this week conducted raids at six places in Kashmir against the LoC traders including its president Tanveer Ahmad Wani alias Bardana.
The NIA also raided the shop of another trader Javed Ahmad at Fruit Mandi Parimpora. They also raided his house in Bemina area of Srinagar. They questioned Tanveer Ahmad and Javed Ahmad regarding their cross LoC trade activities and few of their partners.
The cross-LoC trade came under NIA scanner in 2017 as they suspected that the trade was being run by militants in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). The trade was suspended early this year after several traders were questioned by the NIA.
The NIA suspected that trade was being used to fund anti-India activities in Kashmir. The agency seized several bank accounts and ledgers of LoC traders, who were active in the cross-LoC trade. The trade was started in October 2008 as a major Jammu and Kashmir specific confidence-building measure between India and Pakistan.
The NIA has found that since the cross-LoC trade began, some businessmen under- or over-invoiced their bills, and the difference in payment was later used for promoting subversive activities in the Valley.