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Delhi court orders framing of charges against four Hizb members in militancy funding case

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New Delhi: “Terror groups providing funds to jailed, slain terrorists’ kin work as motivational reassurance to its prospective cadres,” said a Delhi court which on Friday ordered framing of charges against four alleged members of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) after “prima facie” finding that they received funds from Pakistan for carrying out “terrorist activities” in Jammu and Kashmir.

Special Judge Parveen Singh noted that in the case, also involving HM commander Syed Salahuddin, the outfit had created a “frontal organization” in the name of JKART (Jammu Kashmir Affectees Relief Trust) and the purpose of the trust was to “fund terrorist activities and mainly to provide funds for the terrorists and their families”.

The judge said every terrorist organization needs funds to continue its activities, “to provide salary/stipend/incentives to its cadres, for procurement of arms and ammunition and further, for taking care of incarcerated terrorists and the families of the terrorists who have been slain by the security forces.”

“The last part, though does not directly seem to be a funding to the terrorist activities, but is in fact an integral part of terrorist activities.

“I say so because, it is human tendency to take care of one’s family and that tendency can become a de-motivating factor to some of the terrorists if they know, that after their capture or death, their family would be left in penury,” the judge said.

He, however, said if a terrorist organization continues to provide for the families of its members who have been killed or captured, it is a huge motivational reassurance to its prospective cadres and cadres in strength to continue to operate for that organization.

“Therefore, provision of funds to jailed cadres and their families and the families of slain terrorists is funding of terrorist activities,” he said while ordering framing of charges against Mohammad Shafi Shah, Talib Lali, Muzzafar Ahmad Dar and Mushtaq Ahmad Lone for “prima facie” entering into a larger conspiracy (section 120-B of IPC) of waging war against India (Section 121-A of IPC).

They were also charged for the offence of raising funds and distributing it for terrorist acts (section 17 and 40 of UAPA), being a member of proscribed terrorist organization (section 20 of UAPA) and other offences.

The court said that “the fact that JKART is a frontal organization of HM is established prima facie by the testimonies of protected witnesses. The witnesses have further stated that overall control i.e. administrative and operational control (of JKART) is with Syed Salahuddin.”

“The objectives were to raise funds in the garb of relief for ‘affectees’ of terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir. Though, it is an irony that these ‘affectees’ were either terrorists or their family members.

“The witnesses have further stated that these funds were raised by different individuals, organizations and countries including ISI of Pakistan,” the court observed.

It noted that the funds that “were raised were utilized for terrorist activities of HM”.

“The funds were also used for injured, arrested terrorists and for families of killed terrorists. These funds were also used for incurring expenditure on general establishment, procurement of arms and ammunition, ration, clothing, training camps etc.,” the court noted.

It said that a larger conspiracy to wage war against government of India and to commit terrorist activities and funding of those terrorist activities was prima facie established by evidence.

The court observed that “HM was a proscribed terrorist organization which has been waging war against Indian State for a very-very long time”.

“Sheltered, armed, trained and funded in our neighbourhood, it has left a long trail of blood and deaths in the State of J&K,” the judge said.

While ordering the framing of charges, the court noted that the accused Mohammad Shafi Shah was then commander of HM and used to receive money from HM and JKART and “used to distribute them to the terrorist cadres as their stipend, for funding of arms and shelter etc. and to the families of the terrorists who had been killed.”

“He used to receive money from Pakistan and distribute monthly remunerations to active terrorists of North Kashmir,” the court noted.

The court said “there is sufficient evidence which raises grave suspicion against accused persons”.

The court noted that “prima facie” accused Talib Lali had been “raising, collecting and distributing funds for terrorist acts and terrorist organization HM”.

The court noted that there was a direct witness who has stated that this accused had recruited him for HM and then trained in the forests of Bazipora, J&K.

Regarding accused Muzzafar Ahmad Dar, the court noted that he has been a high-ranking operative of HM and is continuing its activities as its member is prima facie established by documents and oral evidence and thus, “there is evidence raising grave suspicion against this accused of being a part of the larger conspiracy of waging war against Government of India and conspiring to commit terrorist activities.”

The court said there are testimonies of witnesses who have collected money directly from Lone and “who were provided list of family members of terrorists to whom these amounts were to be distributed.”

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