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Separatists’ ‘Pakistan funded’ properties on NIA radar

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has prepared an exhaustive list of properties that, investigators suspect, were acquired by the Kashmiri separatist leaders through funds from Pakistan.

india Updated: Jul 25, 2017 23:14 IST
Rajesh Ahuja
Rajesh Ahuja
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Pakistan,NIA,Kashmir separatists
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has prepared an exhaustive list of properties that, investigators suspect, were acquired by the Kashmiri separatist leaders through funds from Pakistan.(PTI Photo)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has prepared an exhaustive list of properties that, investigators suspect, were acquired by the Kashmiri separatist leaders through funds from Pakistan.

The list of around 100 movable and immovable assets, as reviewed by HT, includes mall, shopping complex, flats in Delhi, huge tracts of land, orchards, schools, bungalows, limestone and gypsum quarries, hotels and stakes in housing colonies.

“We will question the top rung of the separatists about the source of money used to buy these properties. Some of these properties are ‘benami’ — registered in someone else’s name but whose actual ownership lies with the separatists. They will be confronted with property documents and, if confirmed that the funds came from Pakistan, we will seize the properties,” said a senior NIA official who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the probe.

The agency had on Monday arrested seven separatist leaders — Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah ‘Funtoosh’, Ayaz Akbar Khanday, Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Peer Saifullah (all from Geelani’s faction of Hurriyat), Shahid-ul-Islam (of the faction led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq), Nayeem Khan of the Jammu Kashmir National Front and Farooq Ahmed Dar aka Bitta Karatay of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (R).

On Tuesday, a Delhi court granted the NIA their custody for 10 days, turning down its request for 18-day custody.

The agency now plans to summon Geelani, Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah, and Mirwaiz Farooq whose security guards as provided by the police “have actually become facilitators for him”. “If they do not cooperate, NIA won’t hesitate in arresting them,” said the official. HT could not immediately contact the four leaders for their comments.

Investigators want to question Geelani, his two sons Naseem and Nayeem, and son-in-law Altaf regarding the properties that include an ancestral bunglow and an orchard in Sopore’s Dooru, an office-cum-residence complex in Rehmatabad colony owned by Milli Trust, a school run by the trust, land measuring around 100 kanals in Pattan, a two-story house and a bunglow in Bagh-e-Mehtab and Bemina in Srinagar, flats in Delhi’s Khirki Extension and Vasant Kunj, an eight-room house in Sanat Nagar, and limestone and gypsum quarries in Uri and Baramulla, spread over around four and eight hectares of land, respectively.

“The power of attorney for the quarry, which lies with Mohammad Maqsood Beig, has been functioning illegally. On Several occasions, the forest department impounded the machines used in extracting but had to release them under pressure from some Hurriyat leaders. The value of the quarry is believed to be in crores,” said an investigator.

Shabir Shah will be questioned regarding the two houses in Budgam, a hotel in Pahalgam, and three residential properties in Kadipora, Srinagar and Narwal. Yasin Malik will face questioning about the ownership of a mall in Lal Chowk and a shop in Abi Guzar, Srinagar.

Investigators want to confront Mirwaiz about the ownership of 20 shops in Lal Bazar, a shopping complex and a bank building in Rajouri Kadal.

In case of Nayeem Khan and his family, the NIA has prepared a list of 19 properties and companies whose real ownership remains to be ascertained.

The list includes a dairy farm in Pattan, partnership in a trade company which has an office in Jawaharnagar area of Srinagar, franchise of a college being run in Srinagar, directorship of Khan’s wife in a cooperative firm, a hospitality firm and tracts of land and buildings in Srinagar, Baramula and Baghat Barzul of Budgam.

First Published: Jul 25, 2017 23:11 IST