ED conducts searches at 10 locations in Kashmir

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED), on Tuesday said its zonal office in Srinagar has recently conducted search operations at 10 locations in Srinagar, Budgam, Kupwara and Anantnag districts of Jammu and Kashmir in a case related to militancy-funding through the admission of students in Pakistani institutes and universities.

An official said that funds were generated for militancy-related activities on the pretext of admission of students from Jammu and Kashmir to various professional courses in Pakistan-based institutions.

“The investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act has revealed these admissions were actually part of the Technical Assistance Programme, and were generally offered to foreign students either free or at nominal charges on an annual basis. However, hefty charges were being levied on the students and the extra money earned was ploughed into supporting terrorism in myriad ways on the instructions of Pakistan-based handlers as well as those residing in Jammu and Kashmir,” the ED said.

According to the ED, the investigation was related to the involvement of conspirators who were hand-in-glove with some education consultancy firms manipulating or arranging the admission of students from Jammu and Kashmir in various professional courses, including MBBS in Pakistan-based colleges, institutions and universities.

The ED initiated an investigation on the basis of the FIR registered under various sections of UAPA and IPC.

A chargesheet was filed against Mohd. Akbar Bhat a.k.a. Zaffar Bhat, Fatima Shah, Altaf Ahmad Bhat, Qazi Yasir, Mohd. Abdullah Shah, Sabzar Ahmad Sheikh, Manzoor Ahmad Shah, Mohd. Iqbal Mir, Syed Khalid Geelani a.k.a. Khalid Andrabi.

They have been accused of being involved in accumulating funds for militant activities on the pretext of admission of Jammu and Kashmir students to various professional courses in Pakistan-based institutions.

The official said that as of now, proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 1 crore have been determined, adding that six persons who had been admitted to various institutions in Pakistan by such elements have been identified.

During the course of search operations, documents related to immovable properties and highly incriminating material property, including digital devices related to the scam, were recovered and seized. (IANS)

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