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ED attaches 13 assets in J&K in ‘terror funding’ probe against Salahuddin

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New Delhi, Mar 19:  The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Tuesday said it has attached over a dozen assets in Jammu and Kashmir in a “terror financing” case against Syed Salahuddin, the Pakistan-based chief of the Hizbul Mujahideen,.

The central probe agency issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to attach 13 properties, worth Rs 1.22 crore, in the state.

The ED said the properties belonged to Mohammad Shafi Shah, a resident of Bandipora, and six other residents of Jammu and Kashmir, who allegedly worked for the militant outfit.

The agency said it 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 monies 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 said in a statement.

It said the probe found that "terror funds" were being sent to India through the hawala -- 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.

Besides heading Hizbul Mujahideen, Salahuddin is the chairman of the United Jehad Council (UJC), a conglomerate of militant 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 Delhi’s Tihar jail in connection with this funding case, the ED said.

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