Jammu: The National Investigation Agency on Thursday arrested a millionaire businessman from Srinagar – Zahoor Ahmad Watali for allegedly facilitating the funding of “terrorists” and “separatists” in Jammu and Kashmir for anti-India operations.
Sources say Watali played a key role in receiving the funds received from Pakistan and then forwarding the same to the separatists and even kept account books for the same.
Watali, a prominent businessman from Kashmir valley who has links with politicians and separatists, was being questioned by NIA sleuths in Delhi before he was put under arrest for terror charges.
A statement by NIA stated, “Watali’s arrest follows the searches conducted by the NIA on Wednesday at multiple locations in Srinagar, Handwara, Kupwara and Baramulla belonging to his relatives and employees. The searches have unearthed highly incriminating material pertaining to receipt of funds by Zahoor Watali from foreign sources and its further distribution to the terrorists and separatists in Kashmir valley for anti-India activities.”
Watali’s residence in Srinagar was first searched by NIA on June 3 during which it had recovered several financial documents related to terror funding apart from land deals handled by him.
NIA said that Zahoor Watali is suspected of acting as a “conduit” for illegally remitting funds to the secessionists, terrorists and stone-pelters. He was earlier arrested in 1990 by Jammu and Kashmir police, when some anti-national activists were found present in his house at Bagat Barzulla, Srinagar. He was taken into custody along with Yaseen Malik, Sajjad Gani Lone, Bilal Lone and others and was jailed for eight months at Jammu.