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National Investigation Agency’s crackdown on flow of funds from the “neighbouring country” to finance unrest in Kashmir has dealt a blow to the morale of terror and separatist groups, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said here today.

Inaugurating the headquarters of the NIA, an agency set up in the aftermath of 2008 Mumbai attacks to probe terror cases in the country, the home minister also said high quality fake currency notes act as “oxygen for terrorism”. “No civilised country can accept the rise of terrorism on its soil,” he said.

Without naming Pakistan as the country responsible for funding terror activities in the Kashmir Valley, Singh said, “The crackdown by the NIA on flow of funds from our neighbouring country for financing terror activities in the state has dealt a blow to the morale of these people (terrorists and separatists).” 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. Singh 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. Complimenting the NIA for its role in curbing terror acts in the country, the home minister said it was a challenging job to gather evidence in terror cases. In 95 per cent of its cases, the accused get conviction, he said.

Referring to the menace of counterfeit notes, he said “fake currency contributes to the rise of terrorism and high quality fake currency notes act as oxygen for terrorism”. Describing terrorism as a hurdle to development, he said the NDA government had taken several steps to tackle the problem, including highlighting the issue in international forums.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had succeeded in bringing the international community on board on the issue, he said. Lauding the role of the NIA, he said the agency had established its credibility and impartiality in the last eight years through professional and scientific investigation.

Earlier, in his welcome speech, NIA Director General Sharad Kumar said 166 cases had been assigned to the NIA for investigation since the inception of the organisation in 2009. These cases cover the entire spectrum of terrorism- related challenges relevant to India and have involved investigative efforts in 26 states and union territories.

Of the 166 cases, 63 cases pertain to jihadi terrorism, 25 to terrorist acts by North East insurgents, 41 to cases of terror financing and fake currency, 13 to cases involving Left-wing extremism while the remaining 24 cases relate to other miscellaneous terrorist acts or gangs, he said. Kumar said the investigations conducted by the NIA have helped unearth an entire range of illegal activities involving terror funding to specific incidents of terror, including the killing of innocent persons.

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