Hard disks, undisclosed expenditure found in terror funding raids
On Wednesday, income tax officials carried out raids on seven places spread across Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir, belonging to the "head of a prominent organization and his associates" who have allegedly been conducting "anti-national" activities. Notably, Wednesday's crackdown is among the efforts being taken by the Center to block funding for terror groups and separatist elements. Here are the details.
The party being investigated has not been named
According to a press statement by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the operation by officials of the Income Tax Department involved searches in four places in Jammu and Kashmir, and three places in the national capital. While neither the CBDT, nor the I-T Department revealed the name of the organization or the person(s) involved, they said that serious evidence had been found.
Raids part of concerted drive to cut terror funding: CBDT
"This action is part of a concerted drive to trace illegal sources of funding that have financed the separatist elements and their activities in the Valley," said CBDT spokesperson Surabhi Ahluwalia.
Huge unaccounted, cash-based expenditure was found during the raids
During the raids, officials found "huge unaccounted expenditure" carried out in cash for remodelling and reconstruction activities on residential premises. Despite the expenditures, officials said that the tax evader and his family had never filed any I-T returns. Officials added that they had found "credible evidence of large scale undisclosed financial transactions carried out in the business of quarrying, hotels etc,".
Three hard disk drives were also recovered
Further, officials said that three hard disk drives had been seized during the raids. Analysis of information contained within the HDDs is likely to yield even more evidence on the tax evader, his associates, officials said. While they did not give any more details, analysis of the information could also reveal links, if any, between the party being investigated to terrorist groups and separatists.
A day back, the NIA had also raised separatists' premises
Notably, the I-T raids came a day after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted raids across 11 locations in south Kashmir in a bid to crack down on funding for terror groups and separatist elements. The searches included raids at premises of separatist leaders like Awami Action Committee chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and JKLF chief Yasin Malik. However, findings from these raids have not been made public.
Earlier, security had been withdrawn for separatist leaders, politicians
The raids came on the back of the Jammu and Kashmir administration's move to withdraw security provided to over 20 separatist leaders and 155 politicians including Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Wahid Parra and former bureaucrat Shah Faesal. Withdrawing security, the administration said, had freed up over 100 police vehicles and over 1,000 police personnel, who are currently engaged in regular police work.