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Terror funding case: NIA asks Income Tax department to look into Zahoor Watali's accounts

New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has asked Income Tax authorities to carry out a detailed study of the accounts of businessman Zahoor Watali, arrested by the agency in connection with a case it has registered on terror funding in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

The officials also said the agency would hire chartered accountants to examine the books and ledgers of Watali and his business establishments.

The NIA on Saturday conducted raids in Srinagar in the office of Trison Farms and Construction Pvt Ltd, owned by Watali.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

"The search has unearthed incriminating documents pertaining to Zahoor Watali's financial transactions. These have been seized and a further investigation is on," an NIA spokesman said.

NIA officials said the Income Tax authorities would be examining the documents seized and also comparing the accounts with his tax returns.

The chartered accountants (CAs) would examine the ledgers and investments including 'kaccha' (unofficial) receipts seized from his various offices, they said.

The officials said the CAs would also scrutinise the accounts of some NGOs and trusts in Kashmir Valley.

Watali is being questioned by the NIA regarding "incriminating" financial transaction details and property-related records seized during the searches.

The NIA has also accused Watali of travelling on an invalid passport.

"Instead of surrendering the cancelled passport to the authorities, he travelled abroad on the cancelled/invalid passport on 21 March, 2016 in violation of the law and again when he tried to do so, his invalid passport was seized in Delhi by the authorities," NIA had said in a statement.

The statement had said that Watali, "who is suspected of acting as a conduit for illegally remitting funds to secessionists, terrorists and stone-pelters", had earlier been arrested in 1990 by the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

"Some anti-national activists were found present in his house at Bagat Barzulla, Srinagar. He was taken into custody along with Yaseen Malik, Sajjad Gani Lone, Bilal Lone and others and was jailed for eight months at Jammu," it said.

The NIA is also questioning several separatists including the sons of pro-Pakistan hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

The NIA had registered a case of terror funding and named Hafiz Saeed, leader of the Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa and banned terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, as an accused. Several separatist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir have also been named in the FIR.

Published Date: Aug 27, 2017 18:34 PM | Updated Date: Aug 27, 2017 18:40 PM

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