Altaf Shah, son-in-law of Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani (left) and Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali (right)
Altaf Shah, son-in-law of Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani (left) and Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali (right)

ED set to start questoning separatist leaders in terror funding case

ANI | Updated: Mar 23, 2019 21:02 IST

New Delhi (India) Mar 23 (ANI): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is set to begin questioning in the terror funding case involving Kashmiri separatists and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed.
On Wednesday, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court allowed the ED to question Altaf Shah, son-in-law of Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, besides Zahoor Watali and Naval Kishore inside Tihar jail here for three days in connection with a terror funding case.
A total of 12 people have been named in the charge-sheet filed by the NIA in the terror funding case.
Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Altaf Fantoosh,  founder member of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) and member All Party Hurriyat Conference (AHPC) is the son-in-law of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, chairman of Geelani faction of Hurriyat.
He is an important fundraiser and had direct contact with various business houses and hawala operators from whom he used to collect funds for the Hurriyat Conference.
For long, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali has been acting as one of the major financial conduits for Hurriyat leaders and for secessionists and anti-India activities under the garb of business.
Watali is also said to have floated various shell companies from where money is transferred into other bogus and illegal bank accounts which are used to channelise funds to Hurriyat leaders.
During the NIA probe, various incriminating documents relating to various shell companies in UAE, UK and property papers in India were seized from his premises as well as the premises of his associates.
According to sources, Naval Kishore Kapoor is a close associate of Watali and has remitted Rs 5.6 crore in various installments to Watali for which he has not been able to produce any document regarding the source of funds. The duo ran a network of bogus and shell companies.
Hafiz Mohammed Saeed is the self-styled chairman of Jammat-Ul- Dawaa, a proscribed organisation and a front of Lashker-e¬Taiba (LeT). He has been declared as a global terrorist and is wanted in various cases in India. He is also referred to as the mastermind of the 26/11 terror attacks.
Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate is a hardcore terrorist and involved in criminal and anti-national activities. He received arms training in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) in 1989-90 to handle various sophisticated arms and ammunition. He is an accused in 21 cases of murder and assault.
Sayed Salahuddin is chief of proscribed terrorist organisation Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM) and is actively involved in creating unrest in the Kashmir Valley and other parts of India by motivating and mobilising Pakistan trained terrorists into India from Pakistan
He and other secessionist and separatist leader of Jammu and Kashmir, including members or cadres of the Hurriyat Conference have been acting in connivance with active militants and other terrorist organisations for funding the separatist and terrorist activities in J-K for larger criminal conspiracy and waging war against India.
The ED had filed a case on the basis of an FIR lodged by the NIA accusing some separatist leaders of Kashmir and Pakistan-based conspirators Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin of conspiring to wage a war against India and fomenting trouble in the Kashmir Valley.
The NIA had carried out searches last month at seven locations of separatists in Kashmir, including that of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in connection with the case.
The agency claimed to have recovered several incriminating documents, including letterheads of different terrorist organisations as well as high-end communication systems, during the raid.
During the searches, the teams also recovered electronic devices including laptops, e-tablets, mobile phones, pen drives, communication system, and DVRs.
Last year in the same case, the National Investigation Agency had filed a charge-sheet in the case.
“The threadbare scrutiny and analysis of the documents and digital devices established that the accused persons, i.e., the Hurriyat leaders, the terrorists, and the stone-pelters are carrying out terrorist attacks and orchestrating violence, stone-pelting, and other subversive and secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir as a part of their well-planned criminal conspiracy hatched with the active support, connivance and funding from terrorist organisations based in Pakistan,” a charge-sheet filed by the NIA in the case, last year, alleged.
The charge-sheet further stated that the investigation based on scientific and oral evidences has conclusively established that for carrying out all these terrorist and subversive activities, the gang of the accused persons is receiving funds from Pakistani agencies through hawala conduits such as Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali and others and are also raising funds by generating illegal profits from Line of Control (LoC) barter trade by doing under-invoicing and cash-dealings.
In May 2017, NIA registered a case regarding funding of separatist and terrorist activities in the state of Jammu and Kashmir by Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and other Pakistani agencies in collusion with the Hurriyat leaders of Jammu & Kashmir. (ANI)