Terror funding: NIA quizzes trader body head, Kashmir student

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New Delhi, Sept 25 (PTI): The NIA on Monday examined the head of a traders’ body and a Kashmir University PhD student in connection with a case related to the funding of terror activities in Kashmir, officials said. Yasin Khan of Kashmir Traders and Marketing Federation, and PhD scholar Aala Fazil have been examined here, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) spokesman said. They were summoned by the probe agency to appear before it on Monday. The duo were questioned about alleged funding to various groups that pelted stones at security forces, he said.

The NIA had registered a case on May 30 against separatist and secessionist leaders, including unidentified members of the Hurriyat Conference, who have been acting in connivance with active militants of proscribed terrorist organisations Hizbul Mujahideen, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-

e-Taiba (LeT) and other outfits and gangs. 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 pelting the security forces with stones, burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India, the NIA said in the FIR.

Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistan-based chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the front of the banned terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), has 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. The NIA has also secured confessional statements from two of the accused in the case.

A confessional statement is recorded before a judicial magistrate. The accused confirms in it that he or she is giving a statement without any pressure from the probe agency. The entire process is videographed and no investigation officer is present in the court premises during the proceedings. In case of retraction later, the agency can file a case of perjury. The NIA has arrested 10 people so far in connection with its probe into the funding of terror activities in parts of Kashmir. They include Altaf Ahmed Shah, the son-in-law of Geelani, and noted businessman Zahorr Watali. Geelani’s close aides Ayaz Akbar, who is also the spokesperson of the hardline separatist organisation Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, and Peer Saifullah have also been arrested.

Others arrested are Shahid-ul-Islam, spokesperson of the moderate Hurriyat Conference, Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar alias ‘Bitta Karate’, photo-journalist Kamran Yusuf and Javed Ahmed Bhat.

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