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Terror Funding Case: NIA gets 10-day custody of separatists Shabbir Shah, Asiya, Masarat

By PTI
|

New Delhi, June 04: Kashmiri separatists Shabir Shah, Asiya Andrabi and Masarat Alam Bhat were arrested Tuesday in connection with a terror funding case and produced before a Delhi court which allowed NIA their 10-day custodial interrogation.

File photo of Kashmiri separatist Shabir Shah

The case relates to alleged terror funding in the Valley and involves Jama'at-ud-Da'wah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind based based in Pakistan.

The National Investigation Agency arrested the trio during in-chamber proceedings before Special Judge Rakesh Syal and sought 15-day custodial interrogation, advocate M S Khan, appearing for the accused, told PTI.

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Shah and Andrabi were already in custody in separate cases, while Alam was brought from Jammu and Kashmir on transit remand where he was lodged in jail for alleged terror activities.

Both Shah and Andrabi were produced before the court from jail in pursuance to the production warrants issued earlier.

NIA had filed a charge sheet in January 2018 against Saeed, another terror mastermind Syed Salahuddin and 10 Kashmiri separatists in a case of alleged terror funding and secessionist activities in the valley.

While Shah was in judicial custody in a decade-old money laundering case for alleged terror financing, Andrabi was in jail in a case of allegedly waging a war against the country and delivering hate speeches in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the NIA, Shah had received Rs 10 lakh from hawala operator Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watal, a co-accused in the case.

Besides, the money was also sent to the banned outfit Dukhtaraan-e-Milat of which Andrabi was the chief, NIA said.

The NIA arrested them before the court and sought their custodial interrogation for 15-days.

The NIA's submission was opposed by defence advocates who said that the accused were already in custody and the NIA could interrogate them and there was no need of custodial interrogation.

The case in which the accused were arrested Tuesday relates to alleged conspiracy to wage a war against the government (Section 121 of Indian Penal Code) by carrying out terrorist and secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

The probe agency has chargesheeted 12 persons, including Saeed, and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin.

Other offences for which the accused were chargesheeted include those punishable under sections 120-B of IPC (criminal conspiracy) and various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

Besides Saeed and Salahuddin, the other 10 accused in the final report are - Hurriyat leader Syed Shah Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah, Geelani's personal assistant Bashir Ahmad Bhat, media advisor and strategist of the Hurriyat Conference Aftab Ahmad Shah, secessionist outfit National Front chief Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (R) Farooq Ahmad Dar, media advisor of Hurriyat Conference (Geelani faction) Mohammad Akbar Khanday, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat official Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, hawala operator Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watal and two stone-pelters - Kamran Yusuf and Javed Ahmad Bhat.

According to the NIA, the case was registered on May 30, 2017 and the first arrests made on July 24, 2017.

Over 300 witnesses were examined during the probe, it said.

The NIA said the scrutiny and analysis of the documents and digital devices established that the accused Hurriyat leaders, the terrorists and the stone-pelters were carrying out attacks and orchestrating violence in Jammu and Kashmir as a part of their "well-planned" criminal conspiracy.

It said the conspiracy was hatched with active support, connivance and funding from terrorist organisations based in Pakistan and its agencies to achieve their objective of secession of the Jammu and Kashmir by waging war against the Indian government.

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