ED attaches Kashmiri bizman’s assets worth Rs 1.73 cr in terror funding case
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali’s assets worth Rs 1.73 crore in an alleged terror financing case involving Jamaat-ud-Dawa founder Hafiz Saeed, the agency said in a statement on Thursday.
It said the assets have been attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in an ongoing investigation against Saeed, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syeed Salahuddin among others.
The ED added the assets include immovable properties worth Rs 1.48 crore in the names of Watali’s family members and Rs 25 lakh bank balance in the Jammu & Kashmir Bank.
The probe under the PMLA was initiated in the case based on a National Investigation Agency (NIA) charge sheet against Saeed, Salahuddin and others. “...Watali has been found to be involved in fund-raising and as a financial conduit for [separatist] Hurriyat Leaders. NIA investigation also discloses that the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) and other secessionists instigate the general public, especially the youth, to observe strikes and issue directives to the masses to hold anti-India protests, demonstrations and processions through press releases, newspapers and social media,” the ED said.
“The secessionists instigate the masses to resort to violence especially stone-pelting on the security forces at encounter sites and also after the dispersal of Friday prayers. This has been done wilfully to create such circumstances which will arouse disaffection among the people of Jammu & Kashmir towards the Government of India.”
The ED said its probe has found that the Hurriyat leaders allegedly received funds from Pakistan through conduits and also from the country’s high commission in New Delhi. It added this was allegedly reflected in the seized documents.
The ED said documents indicate that Watali was allegedly receiving money from Saeed, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, the high commission and a person in Dubai. “...Watali was remitting the same to the Hurriyat leaders, separatists, and stone-pelters of Jammu & Kashmir.”