Terror funding probe: NIA arrests 7 separatists, including Geelani’s son-in-law
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday arrested seven Kashmiri separatist leaders, including hardline Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah, in a probe linked to terrorist funding.
The NIA is investigating if funds from Pakistan were used to fuel last year’s unrest in the Kashmir Valley that left 100 people dead.
Tehreek-e-Hurriyat’s Ayaz Akbar and Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Shahid-ul-Islam, who is from the Mirwaiz faction of the Hurriyat, Nayeem Khan of the Jammu Kashmir National Front and Peer Saifullah were arrested in Srinagar.
Farooq Ahmed Dar aka Bitta Karatay was taken into custody in New Delhi.
The six leaders held in Srinagar were brought to New Delhi for questioning and to appear before a court.
Shah, popularly known as Altaf Fantoosh, was under preventive detention of Jammu and Kashmir police from early July.
In the past few weeks, the NIA raided places across Kashmir, New Delhi and Haryana looking for evidence of separatist leaders and businessmen receiving funds from Hafiz Saeed, who heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawa group, and other Pakistan-based militant outfits.
Kashmir was rocked by violent protests after Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight with security forces on July 8, 2016.
The Hurriyat leadership called for a bandh in Kashmir on Tuesday to protest the arrest of its leaders.
Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, in a joint statement, called the strike to condemn the “revengeful, arbitrary and illegal arrests of Hurriyat leaders”.
The Mirwaiz tweeted the arrests were aimed at misleading the people.
“Drama enacted by govt using the NIA to malign people’s political movement & leadership in Kashmir & to mislead people of India. Lies, propaganda..,” he tweeted.
The Hurriyat statement did not mention Nayeem Khan and Bitta Karatay.
Khan was suspended by the Geelani-led Hurriyat after his alleged confession of receiving funds in a TV sting operation. Karatay is associated with a lesser-known faction of the JKLF.