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NIA will block foreign terror funding: Rajnath

NEW DELHI

Federal Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will ‘fully choke’ terrorists and separatists of foreign funding to curb terrorism that he described as a “curse for the civilised society”.

The minister said being an autonomous body, the NIA had done its job well in its crackdown on terrorists and separatists.

“Some people say the NIA has partially succeeded in stopping foreign terror funding. But I will say the NIA will fully choke the foreign funding to terrorists in the country soon.”

The minister was referring to the terror funding case the NIA has filed against Kashmiri separatist leaders as well as JeM chief Hafiz Sayeed. At least eight separatist leaders have been arrested since July.

NIA began a probe into terror activities and flow of funds in June this year and conducted raids at various places. The agency has so far arrested 10 people, including Altaf Shah alias Fantoosh, son-in-law of pro-Pakistani separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and influential businessman Zahoor Watali.

Rajnath said five to six terrorists were killed in Jammu and Kashmir every day because of sustained efforts of the army, paramilitary forces and other security agencies.

Describing terrorism as a hurdle to development, he said the federal government had taken several steps to tackle the problem, including highlighting the issue in international forums.

He lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bringing the international community on board on the issue of terrorism. Inaugurating the NIA headquarters at Lodhi Road, Rajnath Singh said: “The NIA will bring down the morale of the terrorists and their funders.”

He said terrorism acted as a hindrance to development. Lauding the work of the NIA for proving its credibility since its formation in 2008, Rajnath said the conviction rate of the agency was over 90 per cent.

“As they carry the investigation in a professional way, there is no question mark on the investigation of the NIA.” Rajnath said investigating terrorist activities was a tough job. “But with the help of scientific investigation, it has filed perfect chargesheets.”

He hailed the NIA’s role in curbing the menace of fake currency which he said acted as oxygen for terrorism. He lauded the NIA’s ‘good coordination’ with central investigation agencies, anti-terror squads and police forces of state governments.

Congratulating the federal forces, Rajnath said: “I congratulate the federal forces for neutralising terrorists day after day.”

Meanwhile, NIA Director-General Sharad Kumar said the agency had been able to bring back normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir by choking foreign terror funding.

He said of the 166 cases the agency had taken up for investigation, 62 pertained to terrorism, 25 to terrorist acts by Northeast insurgents, 41 of terror financing and fake currency, 12 involved Maoists and 24 cases related to miscellaneous terrorist acts.

He said the NIA had filed indictments in 28 cases with a success rate of 85 per cent and a conviction rate of over 90 per cent. Kumar said: “In the last two years, the agency has registered 21 cases relating to Daish and we have remained successful in terms of investigation.”

Agencies