Terror financing: ED takes possession of Kashmir assets linked to Salahuddin, others

NEW DELHI, Nov 19: The ED has taken possession of seven of the 13 assets attached by it in the past in connection with a terror financing case against Syed Salahuddin, the Pakistan-based terrorist and chief of the globally banned group Hizbul Mujahideen, officials said on Tuesday.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had attached these assets in March this year under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

After the Adjudicating Authority of the said law recently upheld the order, the possession notice was issued, they said.

The ED had attached a total of 13 properties worth Rs 1.22 crore in Kashmir that belonged to Mohammad Shafi Shah, a resident of Bandipora, Gulam Nabi, a resident of Anantnag district, and five other residents of Jammu-Kashmir, who allegedly worked for the terror outfit.

Possession of the remaining six assets will also been taken soon, they said.

The federal probe agency had filed a criminal case of money laundering in this instance after taking cognisance of a National Investigating Agency (NIA) charge sheet filed against Salahuddin, Shah and others under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Action (UAPA) and other sections of the Indian Penal Code.

“Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, the most active terror outfit in Kashmir, has been responsible for funding terrorist and secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Headed by Syed Salahuddin, its self-styled commander based out of Rawalpindi in Pakistan, it funds terrorism on Indian soil through money organised by a trust called JKART (Jammu and Kashmir Affectees Relief Trust) in alleged connivance with the ISI and other Pakistan-based entities,” the ED had said.

It had said its probe found that “terror funds” were being sent to India through hawala — an illegal way of routing money by skirting banking channels, barter trade and human carriers.

“The funds are illegally distributed to the next of kin of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists, active and dead,” it said.

The US government had in August, 2017 designated Hizbul Mujahideen as a ‘foreign terrorist organisation’.

Besides heading Hizbul Mujahideen, Salahuddin is the chairman of the United Jehad Council (UJC), a conglomerate of terrorist outfits operating in the Kashmir Valley.

The NIA had arrested Salahuddin’s son Syed Shahid Yousuf in this case in 2017 and the J-K government had later suspended him from service as he was working in the state agriculture department.

Shah and three others are lodged in Tihar Jail in the national capital in connection with this terror funding case, the ED had said. (PTI)