9 caught with demonetised currency not linked to Kashmir terror funding: NIA
The National Investigation Agency has cleared 9 persons arrested in November last year with over Rs 36 crore demonetised currency in connection with the Kashmir terror funding case.
They had collected the money with the intention of exchanging it, officials in the probe agency said. The special NIA court released them on bail today, officials also said.
The National Investigation Agency had arrested seven people from Connaught Place in the national capital on November 6 with 28 cartons, in four vehicles, filled with demonetised currency of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. The other two men were arrested in Srinagar the same day.
A total of Rs 36.34 crore amount of old currency notes was seized from them.
The arrested were Delhi residents Pradeep Chauhan, Bhagwan Singh and Vinod Shreedhar Shetty, Deepak Toprani of Mumbai, Ejajul Hassan of Amroha, Jaswinder Singh of Nagpur, and Jammu and Kashmir residents Umar Mushtaq Dar (Pulwama), Shahnawaz Mir (Srinagar) and Majid Yousuf Sofi (Anantnag).
The probe agency informed the special court here yesterday that the nine had nothing to do with financing and wanted to exchange the old currency notes, collected from various places.
The nine could not explain how they planned to exchange the old currency, the officials said.
NIA informed the court that their "crime" did not fall in the category of offences, which the agency is mandated to probe. The court, it said, may therefore like to take a decision to press charges under Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Act, 2017.
Section 5 of the Act bars any person from knowingly or voluntarily, holding, transferring or receiving any specified bank note after the expiry of grace period.
Anyone found guilty is punishable under section 7 with fine that may extend to Rs 10,000 or five times the amount of the face value of the specified bank notes involved in the contravention, whichever is higher.
Photojournalist's bail plea opposed:
The National Investigating Agency (NIA) told a Delhi court that a freelance photo-journalist, Kamran Yusuf arrested last year for alleged stone-pelting and other offences in Kashmir.
The NIA opposed the bail application of Kamran Yusuf before Additional Sessions Judge Tarun Sherawat, saying the allegations leveled against him were "serious".
The accused sought relief saying he was working as a journalist and his presence at various stone pelting sites was merely because he was covering those incidents.
"He (Yusuf) is a young boy and trying to establish his career as a photojournalist," Farasat said.
The court has reserved its order for Friday when it will also pass direction on taking cognizance on the charge sheet filed by the NIA against 12 people including Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen head Syed Salahuddin.
Kamran Yusuf of Pulwama was arrested in September last year along with one Javed Ahmed Bhat, a Kulgam resident, by the NIA in continuation of its probe in the Kashmir funding case.
According to the agency, both were involved in stone- pelting incidents besides organising groups of youths who would throw stones at security personnel involved in counter- insurgency operations.
Earlier, the NIA had arrested seven people in the case of alleged funding and subversive activities in the Kashmir Valley to fuel unrest there.
The case was registered on issues of raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including Hawala channels, for funding such activities.