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Hizbul Mujahideen chief’s son Shakeel arrested in terror-funding case

A team of NIA, along with personnel of the Central Reserve Police and the local police, arrested Hizbul Mujahideen chief’s son Shakeel from his Rambagh residence.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2018 11:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Shakeel,Hizbul Mujahideen,Syed Salahuddin
Syed Salahuddin, chief of Hizbul Mujahideen, speaks at a rally in Pakistan.(Reuters File Photo)

Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin’s son Syed Shakeel Yousuf was arrested in Srinagar on Thursday morning in the terror funding case, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) spokesman said.

A team of NIA, along with personnel of the Central Reserve Police and the local police, arrested Shakeel from his Rambagh residence, the spokesman said.

Shakeel, who works as a lab technician at the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura, is the second son of Mohammed Yusuf Shah alias Syed Salahuddin to be arrested in the case. Shahid, who was working in the agricultural department of the Jammu and Kashmir government, who was picked up in June.

Apart from the Hizbul Mujahideen, Salahuddin also heads the United Jehad Council (UJC), a conglomerate of terrorist outfits operating in the Kashmir Valley.

The NIA alleged Shakeel used to receive funds through a US-based international wire transfer company from Aijaz Ahmed Bhat, another accused in the case who is absconding and based in Saudi Arabia. It alleged Shakeel was “one of several Indian contacts of Bhat” who had been in telephonic contact with him for receiving money transfer codes, reported PTI.

The NIA had in May 2017 launched a probe against unnamed leaders of the separatist umbrella group All Parties Hurriyat Conference, and leaders and members of three terror outfits -- the Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) and Dukhtaran-e-Millat -- on suspicion of getting funds from LeT patron Hafiz Mohammed Saeed to fuel violence in the Valley, including incidents of stone pelting.

The NIA has so far filed two charge sheets against six people including GM Bhat, a close aide of hardline separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mohammed Siddiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga. All four are in judicial custody

Two others -- Mohammed Maqbool Pandit and Bhat -- were also charge sheeted by the NIA but are absconding. An Interpol Red Corner notice has been issued against them

The agency in January this year charged seven middle-ranking separatists — Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah, Hurriyat (Mirwaiz Umar Farooq faction) media adviser and strategist Aftab Ahmad Shah, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, prominent Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali; and militant leaders Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and Syed Salahuddin. The NIA however didn’t question Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq or any of the top separatists in the case.

Out of them, Altaf Ahmed Shah, Aftab Ahmed Shah, Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah were arrested in July 2017 and are in jail. Watali was also arrested in August and two alleged stone pelters — Kamran and Javed Ahmed Bhat - in September.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Aug 30, 2018 09:57 IST