Delhi court discharges four persons in terror funding case

New Delhi, Oct 21 (PTI) A Delhi court on Thursday discharged four persons in a terror funding case as the NIA failed to establish that they were involved in creating a sleeper cell for a Pakistan-based outfit as alleged by the agency earlier.

Special Judge Parveen Singh held that although the activities of the accused persons were suspicious and they were engaged in illegal activities of hawala transactions, the prosecution failed to bring forth any evidence which would establish the money trail that it was sent from Pakistan via Dubai.

The accused – Mohd. Salman, Mohd. Saleem, Arif Gulam Bashir Dharampuria and Mohd. Hussain Molani – were arrested by the agency for allegedly receiving money from Pakistani outfit, Falah-I-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), for attracting a group of sympathizers and sleeper cells to create unrest in India by sending funds for anti-Indian and terrorist activities here.

FIF is a Pakistan-based terror organization established by Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which was founded by Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the head of terrorist organizations Lashkar-e-Toiba and (JuD), the NIA said.

It added that on March 14, 2012, FIF was declared a terrorist organization by the United Nations.

The NIA had charged four accused persons under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and under sections 17 (punishment for raising funds for the terrorist act), 20 (punishment for being a member of terrorist gang or organisation), and 21 (punishment for holding proceeds of terrorism) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

In the order, the judge said, I find that although the activities of Salman were suspicious in nature and he along with other co-accused was engaged in illegal activities of Hawala transactions, however, the prosecution has failed to bring forth any evidence which would raise a grave suspicion that either the funds that were being sent from Dubai and were being received by him through other accused were terror funds/funds originated from the terrorist organization or that these funds were intended to be used for terror activities i.e. creation of sleeper cells/ sympathizers hideouts/ logistic support for the terrorists of LeT/ JuD and FIF.

The mere fact the accounts were being maintained or receipts/reports were being sent to accused Kamran by Salman cannot be of much consequence, the court said.

It further said that similarly, as it was the prosecution case only that accused Dharampuria was an employee of accused Kamran then the mere discovery of certain personal records of Kamran and his family, in the mailbox of Dharampuria, alone could not raise a grave suspicion of this accused being involved in any conspiracy as has been alleged by the prosecution.

I accordingly find that the material placed before the court is not sufficient to raise grave suspicion of commission of offences punishable u/s 17, 20, and 21 of UAPA and u/s 120B IPC by accused persons, the judge said.

According to the NIA, Delhi-based Salman was in regular touch with a Dubai-based Pakistani national Kamran, who in turn was connected with Shahid Mahmood, a Pakistani national and Dy. Chief of FIF.

Salman was receiving funds sent by Kamran and his associates, through Hawala operators as FIF was trying to attract a group of sympathizers and sleeper cells to create unrest in India by sending funds for anti-Indian and terrorist activities, the NIA alleged.

It was alleged in the charge-sheet that in around 2012, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, chief of FIF, along with Shahid Mahmood hatched a conspiracy to create sleeper cells and logistic base in Delhi and Haryana under the garb of religious work like construction of the mosque, madrasa education and financial assistance for marriage of poor Muslim girls, etc.

To execute that conspiracy, Shahid Mahmood tasked his associate Mohammad Kamran for re-routing funds from Pakistan to Dubai and further to India through hawala channels, the NIA said.

Shahid further tasked Kamran to identify religious-minded Indian Muslims who could be given this fund in the name of construction of the mosque, education in Madrasa, the marriage of Muslim girls, medical assistance, etc. to create its bases and to motivate sympathizers initially, the NIA claimed.

Salman had received huge funds from Mohammad Kamran from Dubai for the construction of a mosque and marriage of Muslim girls in the Uttawar area of Palwal district, Haryana, it claimed.

Click here to read the order