by Farooq Ganderbali
National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing terror funding cases against Kashmiri separatists and some businessmen, has enough evidences to book Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and his associates. Letterheads of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamat-ud-Dawa, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and other terror outfits are among various significant evidences that are enough for the NIA to book the separatists and others involved in the terror funding cases. The NIA had questioned two maternal uncles of the Mirwaiz – Maulvi Manzoor and Maulvi Shafat – and his close aides last year. Both Manzoor and Shafat are retired senior government officers.
Mirwaiz and more than six top separatist leaders may soon face the heat in the case the central probe agency registered in May 2017. Besides Mirwaiz, Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, Yasin Malik, son of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Naseem Geelani are on the NIA list. While Naseem has been questioned on more than three occasions in the case, Nirwaiz is still evading the questioning by the probe agency.
Other separatist leaders on NIA radar are Muhammad Ashraf Khan, chairman Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Masarat Alam, general secretary hardline Hurriyat Conference and Zaffar Akbar Bhat, chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement. Scrutiny of a high-tech internet communication setup and documents relating to recommendations for visa for admission in a few Pakistan educational institutions are other evidence which are crucial in linking relations of Farooq and other suspected separatist leaders to Pakistan-based terror outfits.
Some property papers, financial transactions receipts, bank account details and electronic devices including laptops, e-tablets, mobile phones, pen drives, communication system and digital video recorders are also the part of these evidence that are enough to prove how these separatist leaders have been indulging in anti-national operations on directions of the heads of these terror groups and ISI.
The NIA on January 18 last year filed charge-sheet against 12 including, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, seven Kashmiri separatist leaders and others. The separatist leaders arrested in the case on July 24, 2017 are Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah.
Altaf Ahmad Shah is the son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat leader Shah Geelani, who advocates Jammu and Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan. Shahid-ul-Islam is an aide of moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar, and Khandey is the spokesperson for the Geelani-led Hurriyat.
Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali was also arrested in the case on August 17, 2017 and was on September 12 granted bail by the Delhi High Court.
by Farooq Ganderbali