Terror Funding Case: NIA Raids Office Of Arrested Zahoor Watali


Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday conducted a search operation at the office of Trison Farms and Construction Pvt Ltd in Srinagar’s Barbarshah, owned by Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, who was arrested in a Jammu and Kashmir terror funding case.

Watali is presently in police custody with the NIA. The search has unearthed incriminating documents pertaining to Watali’s financial transactions. The same have been seized and further investigation is in progress.

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On August 17, the NIA arrested Watali from the national capital, in connection with a case of funding terrorist and separatist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

His arrest was followed by a search conducted by the NIA on Wednesday at multiple locations belonging to the relatives and employees of Zahoor Watali in Srinagar, Handwara, Kupwara and Baramulla.

The search has 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 the valley for anti-India activities.

At present, the proceedings in the case are in abeyance as per the orders of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

Zahoor Watali is being questioned by the NIA officials regarding the incriminating financial transaction details and property-related records seized during the searches. He will be produced before the Special NIA Judge at Patiala House Courts on Friday.

Earlier, on June 3, the NIA had searched Zahoor Watali’s house in Srinagar and seized incriminating documents pertaining to several financial transactions and land deals. The seized property documents have shown huge amount of cash transactions in sale and purchase.

Watali, who is suspected of acting as a conduit for illegally remitting funds to the secessionists, terrorists and stone-pelters, was earlier arrested in the year 1990 by the Jammu and Kashmir police, when some anti-nationals were found at his house in Bagat Barzulla, Srinagar.

He was taken to custody along with Yaseen Malik, Sajjad Gani Lone, Bilal Lone and others and was jailed for eight months at Jammu.

In 2009, Watali was accused of illegal encroachment of land, and a case was registered against him at P.S. Parimpora, Srinagar. However, as per the orders of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir last year, the investigation of the case has been stayed.

Zahoor Watali was also accused of travelling on a cancelled/invalid passport, despite having full knowledge of its being invalid / cancelled.

Instead of surrendering the passport to the authorities, he travelled abroad with it in March 2016, violating the law. When he tried to do so again, his invalid passport was seized at Delhi by the authorities. A case was registered against him at Ram Munshi Bagh police station, Srinagar, on the basis of a written complaint given by the assistant passport officer, Srinagar.