Terror funding case: NIA raids 7 places in J&K including top separatist leaders

Srinagar/New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday carried out searches at seven locations in Jammu and Kashmir, including residences of several separatist leaders, in its probe into a terror funding case and recovered letterheads of various terrorist organisations as well as documents relating to recommendations for visa for admission in Pakistan educational institutions, officials said.

An NIA spokesperson in New Delhi said the searches in KAshmir valley were carried out at the residences of top separatist leaders — Yasin Malik, Chairman of JKLF, Shabbir Shah, President JKDFP, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Chairman Awami Action Committee, Mohammad Ashraf Khan, Chairman Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Masarat Alam, General Secretary APHC, Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Chairman JKSM and Naseem Geelani, son of Hurriyat hardliner Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani.

The official said the probe agency officials were accompanied by CRPF and state police personnel.

The official said during the searches, NIA teams recovered incriminating documents of property papers, financial transactions receipts and bank account details. “Electronic devices including laptops, e-tablets, mobile phones, pen drives, communication system and DVRs were also seized during the searches,” the official said.

“Significantly, letter heads of different terrorist organisations as well as documents relating to recommendations for visa for admission in Pakistan educational institutions were also found,” the official said.

The official pointed out that a high-tech internet communication setup was also recovered from the residence of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

The NIA raids started early on Tuesday morning and went throughout the day.

The anti-terror agency had on January 18 last year filed chargesheet against 12 persons including Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, seven Kashmiri separatist leaders and others in the case of alleged terror funding in the Kashmir Valley. The agency had registered a case in May 2017 against several people.

The separatist leaders arrested in the case on July 24, 2017 are Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah.

Altaf Ahmad Shah is the son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who advocates Jammu and Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan. Shahid-ul-Islam is an aide of moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Khandey is the spokesperson for the Geelani-led Hurriyat.

Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali was also arrested in the case on August 17, 2017, and was on September 12 granted bail by the Delhi High Court.