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From Pak websites, NIA gets crucial information on funding to support terror in Jammu & Kashmir

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has stumbled upon information emanating from some unusual quarters while probing allegations of terror funding through cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade routes.

According to a senior NIA official privy to the probe, Pakistani websites containing information regarding sale and export of fruits, dry-fruits and food products have ‘aided’ the investigators probing terror funding allegations.

“Basically, the modus operandi that we have come across is — there would be a particular food item imported from Pakistan at a price much lower than what it is worth. The same is then sold in Kashmir and the rest of India at a higher price range, leaving out a massive difference as profit. It is alleged that a chunk of the profit is kept aside to support terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir,” said the NIA official.

The agency in December 2016 had registered a case under sections of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) to probe allegations that “large-scale terror funding has been taking place using the cross-LOC trade route”.

Even though the NIA official said the agency was examining documents seized from Trade Facilitation Centres (TFCs) located at Salamabad in Uri (Baramulla district), and Chakkan-da-Bagh in Poonch district, some important leads for the investigation have come from Pakistani websites.

According to the NIA official, a total of 21 items are currently imported from Pakistan into Kashmir, and the agency suspects that most of the alleged funding takes place by trading California Almonds locally known as badam giri.

According to NIA, on average, California Almonds are being imported at Rs 350 and sold at Rs 650 per kilogram.

“Pakistani websites also suggest these discrepancies in the production and export of California Almonds,” a senior NIA official had said last week.

DNA, on January 15, had reported that NIA questioned employees of the TFCs in Jammu and Kashmir and seized important documents related to the probe. TFCs are government-built facilities that overlook trade logistics between the two countries.