Delhi court sends former Jammu and Kashmir Independent MLA Rashid Engineer to judicial custody in terror funding case

The NIA had earlier told a court in Delhi that Rashid Engineer received money from Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistan-based chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

Press Trust of India August 21, 2019 18:15:32 IST
Delhi court sends former Jammu and Kashmir Independent MLA Rashid Engineer to judicial custody in terror funding case
  • A Delhi court Wednesday sent former Independent MLA in Jammu and Kashmir, Sheikh Abdul Rashid to judicial custody in a case related to funding of terror activities

  • Popularly known as Rashid Engineer, he is the first mainstream politician to have been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the case

  • His name had cropped up during the interrogation of businessman Zahoor Watali, who was arrested by the NIA for allegedly supplying money to terror groups in the Valley

New Delhi: A Delhi court Wednesday sent former Independent MLA in Jammu and Kashmir, Sheikh Abdul Rashid to judicial custody in a case related to funding of terror activities in the Valley.

Popularly known as Rashid Engineer, he was a legislator from the Langate Assembly seat in north Kashmir and is the first mainstream politician to have been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the case.

Delhi court sends former Jammu and Kashmir Independent MLA Rashid Engineer to judicial custody in terror funding case

File image of Engineer Rashid. PTI

District Judge Yashwant Kumar sent Rashid to the custody for two weeks after the NIA produced him before the court on expiry of his custodial interrogation. The agency told the court that further interrogation of the accused was not required.

It had earlier told the court that Rashid received money from Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistan-based chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, and assisted Hurriyat leaders in running the terror funding module. He was earlier questioned in the case in 2017 and  summoned again last week, the agency said.

Advocate Ankit Sarna, appearing for Rashid, had opposed the NIA plea saying he was already co-operating in the investigation and that there was no need of further custodial interrogation.

Rashid was arrested on 9 August, since he was unable to give any convincing answers to the questions, the NIA said.

His name had cropped up during the interrogation of businessman Zahoor Watali, who was arrested by the NIA for allegedly supplying money to terror groups and separatists in the Valley.

The NIA had registered the case against separatist and secessionist leaders, including unidentified members of the Hurriyat Conference, who have allegedly been acting in connivance with active militants of banned terrorist organisations Hizbul Mujahideen, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and other outfits and gangs, the officials said.

The case was registered for raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including hawala, for funding separatist and terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir and for causing disruption in the Valley by way of pelting stones on the security forces, burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India, the probe agency said in the FIR.

Hafiz Saeed has also been named in the FIR as an accused.

The FIR also names organisations such as the two factions of the Hurriyat, one led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the other by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Dukhtaran-e-Millat, an all-women outfit of separatists.

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