Hizbul Mujahideen chief's son held in terror funding case

Hizbul Mujahideen chief's son held in terror funding case
Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin's son, who is working with the Jammu & Kashmir government, was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday in connection with a 2011 terror funding case.

Syed Shahid Yousuf (42), a postgraduate in agriculture, is accused of collecting funds through international wire transfer from Saudi Arabia-based Hizbul militant Aijaz Ahmed Bhat.

A source said the money was transferred in at least four instalments between 2011 and 2014. The arrest is recorded a day after the government announced a new "sustained dialogue" to bring peace in Kashmir and with Home Minister Rajnath Singh saying that he would not interfere in the agency's investigation into terror funding.

Yousuf - a village agriculture extension assistant in the Department of Agriculture in Budgam district - is "one of the several Indian contacts of Bhat who have been in telephonic contact with him to receive the money transfer codes", the NIA said in a statement.

His arrest came after four rounds of questioning earlier and a summons to appear before the NIA on Tuesday in a case registered in April 2011.

The NIA then alleged that money from Pakistan is being pumped into Kashmir through 'hawala' channels via Delhi for fuelling terrorist and secessionist activities.

The NIA, which took over the case from the Delhi Police, has already arrested four people - Ghulam Mohammed Bhat, a close aide of Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mohammad Sidiq Ghanaian, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga.

Two other accused, Mohd Maqbool Pandit and Aijaz Ahmed Bhat, are absconding and a Red Corner Notice has been issued against them.

According to the charge sheet, it came to light that Pandit, who is based in Pakistan, was sending huge funds to secessionists via Delhi. The four accused were earlier arrested by the Delhi Police.

It said that between 2008 and January 2011, over Rs 6.5 crore was received from Pakistan through hawala channels and were distributed among separatists and Hizbul militants.

The supplementary charge sheet filed later said Bhat "raised, mobilised, transmitted and monitored the delivery of terror funds" throughout the hawala channel starting from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to Delhi and Kashmir.

In a separate terror funding case, a charge sheet has been filed against Yousuf's father Salahuddin and nine others.

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