The investigations into the Kashmir terror funding case is progressing swiftly. While evidence galore has been gathered, the National Investigation Agency has also managed to get an approver in the case.
Armed with an approver and a confessional statement, the NIA will now take on the top Hurriyat leaders who are allegedly the masterminds of this entire case.
There have been probes in the past as well, but these leaders have never taken it seriously. This time around the documents seized and the huge number of arrests carried out suggests that the NIA is going for the big guns next.
NIA sources suggest that next in line could be Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq. The details against the two Hurriyat hawks is very strong in nature. Moreover these two separatists have been desperately looking for a good lawyer to defend them in court. The arrests of their aides and also Shabir Shah has sent the two into panic mode. They have the most to hide says the NIA official.
The NIA says that it is confident that this case would be taken to the logical end. The cases of the past have not been as strong. In fact the NIA had to drop a 2016 case on the same issue.
The probe this time is different for a variety of reasons. First and foremost the NIA has been given a free hand to probe the cases and there is no political compulsion on the agency on who to arrest and who not to. The probe was carried out in multiple directions.
Moreover if one looks at the manner in which Kashmir is being handled, it is text book Ajit Doval doctrine in which it says that the policy of non-appeasement must be shunned.
The NIA began with the foreign funding which came in from Pakistan, Dubai, London and Saudi Arabia. The agency then studied thousands of documents relating to the cross border trade. It was suspected that this route through the Line of Control was used to pump in the funds.
While these dimensions were already know, the NIA decided that it would actually act upon it and hence carried out the arrests. It was the arrests that became the turning point for the NIA. The questioning of these separatists and their associates only added weight to the evidence that the NIA had already sourced.
The arrests and this hectic probe by the NIA had its ripple effects in Kashmir as well. The unrest is dying a slow death and the funds are gradually drying up. Earlier separatists used to dole out money at will to fund stone pelters and terrorists. However this time they are careful, watchful as they are fully aware that a full-fledged probe with all its seriousness and minus the appeasement is on.