Terror financing: properties in J&K identified

Last Updated 25 March 2019, 16:45 IST

Two plywood mills, an apple orchard, nursing home and several two-storeyed houses are among a number of properties identified as those who were suspected to be involved in terror funding in Kashmir valley, official sources said on Monday.

Majority of the properties identified belonged to businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, who is presently lodged in Delhi's Tihar Jail after National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested him in connection with terror funding cases.

Watali is suspected to be a hawala dealer, who was acting as one of the major financial conduits for Hurriyat leaders, and his posh bungalow in Haryana's Gurugram, near Delhi, was attached last week in a first such action against terror funding. He had allegedly received money from LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, Salahuddin, ISIS and the Pakistan High Commission here.

DH on Monday reported that Indian investigators have so far determined assets valued at around Rs seven crore as proceeds of terror funding crimes in Jammu and Kashmir and these belonged to 13 people, including Watali.

During a discreet inquiry, official sources said, investigators have found at least 11 locations in which Watali has properties either in his name or in the names of his wife or son. He is said to have a plywood mill and an apple orchard in Handwara and another plywood mill and a nursing home in Parimpora in Budgam district.

In one of the plots, Watali allegedly owned 12 semi-furnished houses of which four were sold. He also owned more than one house and agriculture land.

Altaf Ahmad Shah, the son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat faction's Syed Ali Shah Geelani, is also under the agencies' radar and his two-storeyed building in Srinagar has been identified by the investigators. The house of Aftab Ahmad Shah, the spokesperson of Hurriyat (Mirwaiz faction) who was arrested on charges of terror funding, has also been identified.

The investigators have identified 13 people, including Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Sayeed and Hizbul Mujahideen founder Syed Salahuddin, as those behind terror funding in Kashmir valley.

According to investigators, these people have been found to be providing money to all major terrorist groups as also Hurriyat leaders, separatists and stone-pelters.

Funds were provided to take up campaigns to misguide, motivate and recruit local youth to terrorist ranks including from madrasas and mosques. Operational activities of terror groups are also being financed including attacks on Security forces personnel, camps and convoys, sources claimed.

(Published 25 March 2019, 15:45 IST)

Follow us on