By Express News Service

SRINAGAR: For the second consecutive day, National Investigation Agency (NIA) Monday continued raids against the members of banned Jamaat-e-Islami members in the Kashmir Valley in terror funding cases.

An NIA official said the NIA sleuths assisted by the police and paramilitary personnel conducted searches at five places in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Monday.

The premises of office bearers and members of Jamaat were searched thoroughly by the NIA sleuths. “During the searches, some incriminating documents and electronic devices were seized,” the NIA official said, adding further investigation was going on.

Monday’s raids come after the NIA on Sunday launched a major crackdown against Jamaat and raided 56 locations across J&K.

The Jamaat was banned by the centre on February 28, 2019, for five years for its close links with militants and separatists.

After the banning of the organisation, hundreds of Jamaat workers and leaders were arrested and booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA). They are lodged in jails within and outside J&K.

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The NIA crackdown against Jamaat comes after the agency on February 5, 2021, registered a case in pursuance of an order from the Ministry of Home Affairs relating to separatism and terror funding by Jamaat.

The NIA has alleged that Jamaat members have been collecting funds domestically and abroad through donations particularly in the form of Zakat, Mowda, and Bait-ul-Mal purportedly to further charity and other welfare activities but these funds are instead being used for terror and secessionist activities.

“The funds raised by Jamaat are also being channelised to militant outfits such as Hizbul Mujahideen,  Lashkar-e-Toiba and others through well-organised networks of JeI cadres,” it has alleged.

The PDP chief and former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti slammed the NIA crackdown on Jamaat.

“NIA raids on Jamaat is emblematic of GOI waging a war against its so called ‘integral part’. Instead of fighting an ideology with a better idea, it is crushing contrarian thought with an iron fist (sic),” Mehbooba tweeted.

“Such oppressive measures may seem to work temporarily but in the long run, it will prove to be counter-productive. The gulf between J&K and the rest of the country widens with every passing day. It is a self-goal,” she further said.