Handwara narco-terror: Rs 91L recovered from J&K field

In a major recovery, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday said that it has seized cash to the tune of Rs 91 lakh concealed in a field in Jammu and Kashmir village in Samba district by arrested BSF officer in connection with the Handwara narco-terror probe.

An NIA spokesperson here said Rs 91 lakh in cash was dug up from a field in Gurwal village, following the disclosures made by the five accused earlier this month.

While, the NIA had arrested Altaf Ahmed Shah, Showkat Ahmad Parray, Mudasir Ahmad Dar and Amin Allaie aka Hilal Mir from Srinagar on March 1, the BSF personnel, Romesh Kumar was arrested on March 3.

According to the sources, Kumar is an assistant sub-inspector of the Border Security Force (BSF) from Handwara. He is the second security personnel to be arrested in Jammu and Kashmir since January 2020 for allegedly helping militants.

The NIA had earlier arrested Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh for helping Hizbul militants. He has since been charge-sheeted and dismissed from service.

The official said, “Investigation revealed that Kumar had received the cash proceeds of drugs from the drug smugglers based in Kashmir valley for self as well as for further channelling to different terrorist entities.”

A Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) source said that Kumar allegedly connived with drug traffickers linked to terror groups when he was posted with the drug law enforcement agency on deputation and investigated drug traffickers’ networks in Baramulla and Handwara regions.

The source said that NCB had alerted the NIA as well as other agencies. After his role with the drug traffickers emerged and he was sent back to the BSF.

The NIA case relates to the case registered by the J&K Police in June last year wherein during checking of vehicles in Handwara, accused Abdul Momin Peer’s Hyundai Creta vehicle was intercepted by police at a naka and during searches Rs 20 lakh along with two kg Heroin was recovered and seized.

A charge sheet was filed on December 5 last year against six accused persons in the NIA special court, Jammu.

The official said that the investigation so far has revealed that the accused persons were involved in cross-border smuggling of heroin in huge quantities from Pakistan and were supplying the same in J&K and other parts of the country.

“They were also in regular communication with the operatives of proscribed terrorist organisations Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), using encrypted chat platforms. The proceeds of sale were being used to finance the activities of terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba operating in the Kashmir Valley,” he added.