Narco terrorism module
Punjab Police

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) made significant strides in the four-year-old Handwara narco-terrorism case, attaching four properties and confiscating cash amounting to Rs 2 crores. The properties were linked to the investigation of case RC-03/2020/NIA/JMU, which pertains to narco-terrorism activities.

While chargesheet has been filed against 15 accused, 12 persons including an Assistant Sub-Inspector of the Border Security Force (BSF) were arrested in this high-profile case.

The attached properties, identified as proceeds of terrorism, belonged to four accused individuals in tehsil Handwara. Among the seized assets were residential properties and a substantial cash sum, totaling Rs 2.27 crore.


Arrests and Charges

Over the course of the investigation, a total of 12 accused have been apprehended in connection with the case. The NIA has formally charged 15 individuals, implicating them in the use of proceeds from narcotic drugs to fund terrorist activities orchestrated by groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) in the Handwara-Kupwara region.

Origin of the Case

The case, registered initially on June 11, 2020, at Handwara Police Station, was later taken over by the NIA on June 23, 2020. The investigation was prompted by the recovery of a significant amount of currency and narcotics during a vehicle check in the Langate area of Handwara.

Central Bureau of Investigation-India
[Representational Image]Twitter

Revelations and Supplementary Chargesheet

The preliminary interrogation of the driver, Abdul Momin Peer, led to revelations about the narco-terrorism nexus, prompting a comprehensive probe by the NIA. Subsequent searches yielded substantial quantities of heroin and incriminating materials from the residences of various accused individuals.

Involvement of Security personnel

Notably, the investigation uncovered the involvement of an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) of the Border Security Force (BSF), Romesh Kumar, in facilitating cross-border drug trafficking activities linked to terror outfits like LeT and HM. Kumar's complicity was exposed during his tenure with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on deputation.

Earlier in September 2020, the NIA had raided the house of Romesh Kumar and recovered some important documents after his links emerged in the Handwara Narco-Terrorism case.

Money was hidden deep in the field inside digs of depth ranging 3-6 feet, wrapped in plastic sheets. The teams reached here upon the investigation of Romesh Kumar and recovered that huge amount.

Recovery Operations

In a significant development, the NIA recovered a substantial amount of cash from the fields of accused BSF ASI Romesh Kumar in Gurwal village of Ramgarh sector, Samba district. This recovery, amounting to Rs. 91 lakhs, was made in March 2021, further bolstering the investigation.

The NIA's relentless pursuit of justice in the Handwara narco-terrorism case underscores its commitment to dismantling illicit networks that fuel terrorism. The seizure of assets and apprehension of individuals involved serve as a stern warning to those engaged in nefarious activities aimed at destabilizing the region.