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Monday, April 22, 2024

NIA Files Chargesheet in Hizbul Mujahideen Narco-Terror case

The NIA (National Investigation Agency) has filed a 14000-page charge-sheet against 10 accused in the Hizbul Mujahideen Narco-terror case in the NIA Special Court in Mohali on Tuesday, 20th October. Various sections of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) and Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and Indian Passports Act (IPA) have been applied against the accused.

Of the ten accused, Riyaz Ahmed Naikoo was killed in an encounter in May this year. Iqbal Singh and Zafar Hussain Bhat are absconding and the latter is believed to be residing in Pakistan at present. All the seven other accused have been arrested.

In May this year, NIA took over the investigations of a case registered by the Punjab Police following the arrest of terrorist Naikoo’s close aide Hilal Ahmed Shergojri. Investigations by NIA led them to uncover a major narco-terror mafia network.

Investigations by the agency revealed that terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) and its Pakistani handlers along with Punjab based Khalistani terror organizations, were using the drug pedalling route to raise money for setting up HM terror infrastructure in Bharat.

NIA search operations across 15 locations in Punjab, Haryana and J&K yielded around 98 lakhs rupees and 3 kgs of heroin in addition to several digital gadgets and incriminating Benami property documents.

The NIA press release says:

  1. Today (20.10.2020), NIA filed 14000 pages chargesheet against ten (10) accused persons in Hizb-ul-Mujahideen
    (HM) Narco-Terror Case in NIA Special Court at Mohali, Punjab.
  2. The charge-sheet has been filed u/s 120B, 419, 471, 489C of IPC, sections 8, 21, 23, 12 24, 25, 27, 27A, 29 & 31
    of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, sections 17, 18, 20, 38 and 40 of Unlawful Activities
    (Prevention) Act, 1967 and section 12(1)(b) of Indian Passports Act against the following accused persons:-
    i. Hilal Ahmed Shergojri, 35 years, r/o dist- Pulwama (J&K) (Arrested)
    ii. Bikram Singh, 27 years r/o dist- Amritsar (Arrested)
    iii. Maninder Singh, 22 years, r/o dist- Amritsar (Arrested)
    iv. Ranjit Singh, 42 years, r/o dist- Gurdaspur (Arrested)
    v. Jaswant Singh, 25 years r/o dist- Gurdaspur (Arrested)
    vi. Ranjit Singh, 41 years r/o dist- Amritsar (Arrested)
    vii. Gagandeep Singh, 27 years r/o dist- Amritsar (Arrested)
    viii. Iqbal Singh,24 years, r/o dist- Amritsar (Absconding)
    ix. Zafar Hussain Bhat, 52 years, r/o dist.- Anantnag (J&K), Presently in Pakistan (Absconding)
    x. Riyaz Ahmed Naikoo, r/o dist- Pulwama (J&K) (Killed)
  3. This case arose out of PS Sadar Amritsar Case no. 135 dated 25.04.2020 pertaining to the arrest of one Hilal Ahmed Shergojri and recovery of Rs. 29 Lacs from his possession, by Punjab Police on 25.04.2020. NIA took up the investigation of the case on 08.05.2020.
  4. During investigation by NIA, it emerged that accused Hilal, who had come to Amritsar to collect the amount of
    Rs 29 Lacs, was a member of the proscribed terrorist organization Hizb-ul–Mujahideen (HM) and a close associate of Riyaz Ahmed Naikoo, the then HM commander of Kashmir Valley. This led to busting of a major Narco-terror module involved in smuggling and selling of Heroin in India and channelizing of drug-proceeds to Pakistan through hawala and to the HM terrorists based in J&K.
  5. Investigation also unearthed the conspiracy hatched by Pakistan-based HM commanders and their associates and terrorist gangs in Punjab to support and augment the terror infrastructure of HM in India by raising money through drug smuggling/drug pedalling. During the investigation, it emerged that the accused had received at least six (06) consignments of heroin through Attari Indo-Pakistan Border in the garb of importing Rock Salt granules from Pakistan. Of these, money proceeds of five (05) consignments were partly sent back to Pakistan through hawala operators while a substantial portion was channelized to HM terrorists in Kashmir through a network of OGWs and other associates. In July 2019, 6th consignment of around 532 Kgs of heroin was seized at Attari Border and a separate case was registered, which was investigated and charge-sheeted by NIA.
  6. During investigation, NIA carried out searches at 15 locations belonging to the suspects and accused in Punjab, Haryana and J&K. So far, INR 98.5 lacs, 8 vehicles and 3 Kgs of heroin have been seized from the accused and investments worth many crores have been identified. During searches, incriminating documents related to Benami properties and digital gadgets including mobile phones, pen drives and laptops were seized and forensically examined. Many incriminating chats between accused persons have been recovered from the seized digital devices.

Further investigation in the case is underway.

(Featured Image Source: NIA Twitter Page)

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