A nexus between the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group and Punjab-based gangsters has come to the fore as the State Investigation Agency (SIA) of Jammu and Kashmir has filed a chargesheet against five accused in a terror-funding case registered last year.
The case was registered in November last year following the recovery of Rs 43 lakh from a Kashmir-bound vehicle.
The chargesheet was filed before a special NIA court in Jammu on Tuesday against the accused, including a Pakistan-based JeM commander and three Punjab gangsters, under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), the Arms Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC), an official of the SIA said.
This was the second chargesheet filed by the SIA in the terror-funding case in the last three months after it took over the probe in January.
Those chargesheeted include JeM commander Ashiq Nengroo alias Ashiq Molvi, a resident of Hanjan Bala village of Rajpora in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, who is presently operating from across the border, the official said.
He said the other four chargesheeted accused are Muzammil Ahmad Malik of Pulwama and Ravi Kumar alias Nona, Jaideep Dhawan alias Deep and Amarbir singh alias Gopi Mahal -- all residents of Punjab.
The case pertains to the seizure of Rs 43 lakh by the Jammu police at the Sidhra bridge from three people travelling in a taxi towards Kashmir on November 16, 2021.
The original chargesheet was filed on May 14 against two accused -- Mouzzam Parvez and Umar Farooq, both residents of Pulwama's Dalipora village -- who had collected the cash from Amritsar in Punjab.
"The investigation revealed that Parvez and Farooq had conspired with Malik and Nengroo and facilitated the movement of terror funds, which were to be further distributed to JeM terrorists operating in the valley for launching terror attacks in India," the official said.
He said the terror funding was facilitated by Malik, who had managed the travel of Parvez and Farooq in his truck, and Punjab-based gangsters and narcotics smugglers who had delivered the terror-funding amount.
"Parvez and Farooq had received the illegal terror-funding amount of Rs 15 lakh in accordance with the directions received from a Pakistan-based designated terrorist (Nengroo) from Amarbir Singh at Amritsar at a pre-decided location on the Amritsar highway. Singh was assisted by his close associates Ravi Kumar and Jaideep Dhawan. Arms and ammunition were also recovered from Kumar's residence at Amritsar," the official said.
He said Amarbir Singh is a gangster based in Punjab and is associated with narcotics-and-weapons smuggler Baljinder Singh alias Billa Mandiala. He has been named in more than 23 FIRs related to murder and extortion.