The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested seven people on Monday, for allegedly funding terror groups in Kashmir. Son-in-law of separatist leader SAS Geelani, is also among the seven arrested.
Among the arrested are Altaf Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Mehraj Kalwal, Shahid-ul-Islam, Naeem Khan and Bitta Karate.
Shah is the son-in-law of Hurriyat leader, Geelani, while Islam is a close aide of moderate Hurriyat leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Akbar is the spokesperson for the Geelani-led Hurriyat. Geelani had suspended Khan from the basic membership of Hurriyat conference in May, days after a sting operation surfaced in which he purportedly confessed to receiving funds from Pakistan to create unrest in Kashmir.
Hafeez Saeed, the Pakistan-based chief of the Jamaat-ud Dawa, the front of the banned Lashker-e-Taiba, has been named as an accused, in addition to organisations such as the Hurriyat Conference (factions led by Geelani and separatist Mirwaiz Farooq), Hizbul Mujahideen and Dukhtaran-e-Milat.
Last month, NIA had raided Shah’s house in Srinagar. He is perceived to be influential in the evolving the policies of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.
The NIA had also searched the premises of others like Shahid-ul-Islam, an aide of Farooq’s, who heads the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference. The raids were part of the NIA’s efforts to clamp down on separatist groups allegedly receiving funds for subversive activities in the Valley.
Some account books, Rs 2 crore in cash and letterheads of banned terror groups, including the LeT and the Hizbul Mujahideen, were recovered by NIA during its searches.
It is for the first time since the rise of militancy in Kashmir in the early 1990s, that a central probe agency has carried out raids in connection with the funding of separatists in the valley.