New Delhi: With increased security measures at the Line of Control (LoC) and on the International Border (IB) making it difficult to send money from Pakistan to Jammu and Kashmir, ISI modules based in Nepal have been activated by their handlers. These modules are using their Indian contacts in areas bordering Nepal and Uttar Pradesh, and Nepal and Bihar to send money to Kashmir for terror funding, including procuring arms, awarding informers and paying monthly subsistence amounts to the terror cadre who are operating in the valley.

A few Nepal-based businessmen—who have close and regular connections with retail traders based in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh—hand them cash, and they, in turn, then transfer the same to local youths who take this money to Jammu and Kashmir for a small commission amount. This way, the money leaves no electronic trail for investigating agencies to follow up on.

On 15 February, the anti-terror squad (ATS) of Bihar police, acting on inputs provided by Jammu and Kashmir police, had arrested a 25-year-old youth from a village under Marhaura police station, Saran district, Bihar, for his alleged role in supplying cash and at least seven pistols to a Kashmir-based youth, who he had befriended during his stay in Aligarh.

The youth from Kashmir was earlier arrested after it emerged that he had given guns to a known Kashmiri terrorist, Hidayatullah Malik, who was arrested on 6 February by Anantnag police from Kunjwani area of Jammu.

According to official sources monitoring the developments, the local youths from Nepal’s border districts with Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are, knowingly and unknowingly, acting as money couriers.

“They receive the money which is routed to them through their local acquaintance, mostly small traders who have connections in Nepal. These acquaintances get the money from businessmen based in Kathmandu who work as agents for Pakistan-based intelligence agencies. For a minimal commission, these youths take the hawala money to Kashmir. In every such transaction, roughly on an average, Rs 3 lakh is transferred to over ground workers of terror organisations that are active in Kashmir by these unsuspecting youths, who, in most cases, are not aware that the money they are carrying is going to be used for terror activities,” an official said.

According to another official, who is posted in Bihar, it has emerged that in almost all cases, even the Nepali traders are not aware that the money they are handing over to their couriers in India, is going to be used for terror purposes. “Members of Nepal based ISI modules tell these Nepali traders that they are sending the money into India through the informal route for personal use of their relatives in Jammu and Kashmir. These traders get a commission for this ‘small’ act. The matter is being taken up with relevant agencies in Nepal and we are sharing the information with them so that they can clamp down on such ISI modules,” the official said.