7 separatists held on terror funding charges

7 separatists held on terror funding charges

7 separatists held on terror funding charges
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), probing terror funding to Kashmiri separatists, on Monday arrested seven people on charges of receiving funds from abroad to sponsor stone-pelting protests in the Valley in 2016.

Sources said Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Fantoosh, Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah and Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal will be produced before the Special Judge, NIA, Patiala House in New Delhi on Tuesday. While Karate was arrested from Delhi, the others were held from Srinagar, they said.

Shah is the son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani, while Shahid is a close aide of moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. The NIA is investigating if funds from Pakistan were used to fuel last year’s unrest in Kashmir Valley that left more than 90 people, most of them youth, dead.

A spokesperson of NIA said more arrests were expected in the case in coming days. “The seven activists were booked in case No. RC 10/2017/NIA/DLI which was registered on May 30 this year. They had been receiving funds through hawala and causing disruption in the Valley, burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India,” he said in a statement.

Earlier in June, the sleuths of the premier probe agency raided houses of separatist leaders and some prominent businessmen in Kashmir, Jammu and Delhi. The raids were carried out after NIA launched Preliminary Enquiry (PE) into the alleged hawala funding to separatist leaders to fuel protests and violence in Kashmir. The PE was launched following a ‘sting operation’ by a New Delhi-based news channel after which three separatist leaders — Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmed and Gazi Javed Baba — who were reportedly receiving funds from 2008 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind and LeT chief Hafiz Saeed, were grilled by the NIA in Srinagar and Delhi for several days.

During the raids, the NIA had recovered cash worth a few crores, gold jewellery/coins worth about Rs 40 lakh, property-related documents, letterheads of LeT and Hizbul, pendrives, laptops, mobile phones and other incriminating documents, including phone diaries, receipts and vouchers from the financiers, hawala operators and office bearers of separatist groups during searches at nearly 30 locations.

For the first time since the rise of militancy in Kashmir in 1990, a central probe agency had carried out raids in connection with the funding of separatists.

Meanwhile, Geelani, Mirwaiz and JKLF chief Yasin Malik have called for a shutdown in Kashmir on Tuesday against the arrests and questioning of its leaders by the NIA.
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