Kashmir terror funding: Two confessional statements that would nail separatists
The noose around the separatists of Kashmir tightened with the National Investigation Agency securing the confessional statements of two persons.
The statements made before a judicial magistrate had tightened the case against separatists who allegedly funded stone-pelters and spread unrest in the Valley, NIA officials said on the condition of anonymity.
While one has been formally arrested, the other was detained and subsequently let off after he said he would turn approver, the officials said, declining to divulge their names.
The former, arrested on July 24 this year after his house was raided by the central probe agency, approached NIA sleuths, giving his consent for recording his confessional statement.
He gave a detailed account of how funds were sent from Pakistan-based terror organisations as well as its external snooping agency ISI to separatists based in the Valley, the officials said.
The other person who has recorded his confessional statement is a close aide of pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
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 alleged funding of terror activities case. The list includes Altaf Ahmed Shah, the son-in-law of Geelani, and noted businessman Zahorr Watali.
Geelani's close aides Ayaz Akbar, who is also spokesperson of the hardline separatist organisation Tehreek- e-Hurriyat, and Peer Saifullah have been also been arrested.
Others in the list 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.
The NIA had registered a case on May 30 against the separatist and secessionist leaders, including unknown 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, 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, the Pakistan-based chief of the Jamaat-ud- Dawa, the front of the banned terrorist organisation Lashker-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 Geelani and the other Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Dukhtaran-e-Millat, an all-women outfit of separatists.