In a fresh crackdown against separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, the National Investigation Agency is conducting searches at 12 locations in Srinagar and north Kashmir in connection with terror funding.
Officials in the central probe agency said the searches are being carried out at 12 locations in Srinagar, Baramulla and Handwara districts. They said those being raided Wednesday have alleged links to persons being investigated in this case.
According to India Today TV, the locations being raided include properties of relatives of Zahoor Watali, a prominent businessman in the Valley and a known Hurriyat supporter.
The NIA is also raiding the houses and office of Shafi Rishi, a prominent lawyer in Kashmir and Peerzada Nabi, a prominent businessman.
Official sources said that evidences have been found against Watali, Rishi and Nabi about their involvement in the terror funding.
The current crackdown is a part of NIA investigation against allegations that separatists leaders were receiving funds from Pakistan and were using the money to fuel unrest in the Valley.
Watali's residence in Gurugram, Delhi and Srinagar were raided on 4 June as part of the ongoing investigation.
The NIA had also questioned the sons of pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on 8 August over his alleged links with Hafiz Saeed.
Saeed, leader of the Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the banned terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, is reportedly said to be a prominent source of funding for the pro-Pakistan separatist factions in the Valley and the money is subsequently being channeled to fund protesters and militants in the Valley, sources told PTI.
The NIA had also questioned Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Faheem Ali, who handles separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq's security, in connection with the case. Ali was the first police officer from the state to be interrogated by the NIA.
The NIA had arrested seven persons — Altaf Ahmed Shah, Nayeem Khan, Peer Saifullah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam and Ayaz Akbar Khandey and Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate — on 24 July.
They were arrested on the charges of criminal conspiracy and waging war against India.
Altaf Ahmad Shah is the son-in-law of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who advocates Jammu and Kashmir's merger with Pakistan.
Islam is a close aide of Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Ayaz Akbar is the spokesperson for the Geelani-led Hurriyat.
A case was registered on 30 May, accusing separatist and secessionist leaders of working in collusion with terrorist groups. It also included charges of causing disruption in the Valley by pelting security forces with stones, burning schools, damaging public property and "waging war" against India.
The probe agency had conducted searches in several places in the state besides Haryana and the national capital. Electronic devices and valuables worth crores of rupees were impounded.
It was the first time since the rise of militancy in the early 1990s that a central probe agency conducted raids in connection with the funding of terrorist and separatist groups.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Aug 16, 2017 13:25 PM