New Delhi: A Delhi court sent all seven Hurriyat leaders, who were arrested on Monday on terror funding charges, to the 10-day custody of National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The seven arrested were produced before the Delhi’s Patiala House Court on Tuesday which handed them over to the NIA for further interrogation. A day after NIA arrested the seven, the BJP said that Hurriyat stands exposed before the Kashmiri youth.
ANI quoted BJP MP Satyapal Singh as saying: The NIA has got clinching evidence against them and that is why seven people have been arrested. The Pakistani role has been exposed in front of the world. Not only have they been exposed, but also the Hurriyat leaders. The Separatist leaders have not been exposed in front of the world, but also in front of the Kashmiri youth, whom they were misleading.
Hurriyat hardliner Syed Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Funtoosh, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Peer Saifullah, Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Nayeem Khan and Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate are the seven who have been arrested. They will be produced before the Patiala House Court on 25 July.
Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Nayeem Khan are of the Hurriyat’s Geelani faction, while Ayaz Akbar, a spokesman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, is Geelani’s close aide.
Separatists have called for a bandh on 25 July to protest the arrest of the seven separatist leaders who have allegedly received funds from Pakistan to sponsor terror activities and stone-pelting protests in the Kashmir Valley. They have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The joint resistance leadership of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik have given a call for complete strike and Kashmir bandh ON 25 July to protest and condemn the revengeful arbitrary and illegal arrests of Hurriyat leaders.
Statement by Separatists
Mirwaiz Farooq, chairman, All Parties Hurriyat Conference tweeted that the arrests were “drama enacted by government”.
Shah, popularly known as Altaf Fantoosh, was in the custody of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, who had put him in preventive detention earlier this month. The NIA also arrested Shahid-ul-Islam, spokesman of the moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, said the officials, engaged in the operation. The houses of those arrested had been raided by NIA sleuths last month. Shah is perceived as an influential force in the Tehrek-e-Hurriyat.
Hafeez Saeed, the Pakistan-based chief of the Jamaat-ul Dawah, the front of the banned terrorists organisation Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT), has been named in the FIR as an accused, besides organisations such as the Hurriyat Conference (factions led by Geelani and Mirwaiz Farooq), Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) -and Dukhtaran-e-Millat — an all-woman outfit of separatists.
The raids were part of the NIA’s efforts at clamping down on separatist groups allegedly receiving funds for subversive activities in the Valley. The NIA had registered a case on 30 May against the separatist and secessionist leaders, including members of the Hurriyat Conference, who have been acting in connivance with active militants of proscribed terrorist organisations HM, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and other outfits and gangs, an official release said.
The case was registered for raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including hawala, for funding separatist and terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir and for causing disruption in Kashmir Valley by way of pelting stones on the security forces, burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India, it said.
In pursuance of this case, the NIA had conducted widespread searches on the suspected persons in Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Haryana and incriminating documents, electronic devices, cash and other valuables worth crore of rupees were unearthed, the release said.
For the the first time since the rise of militancy in Kashmir in the early 1990s, a central probe agency had carried out raids in connection with the funding of separatists.
In 2002, the Income Tax department had raided the establishments of some separatist leaders, including Geelani, and seized cash and documents.