NIA Gets 10-Day Custody of Separatists Masarat Alam, Shabir Shah & Asiya Andrabi in Terror Funding Case
Asiya and Shah were already in custody in separate cases while Alam was brought from Jammu and Kashmir on transit remand.
Combination photo of Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Asiya Andrabi (centre) and separatist leaders Masarat Alam (left) and Shabir Shah (right).
New Delhi: A Delhi court on Tuesday granted permission to formally arrest separatist leaders Asiya Andrabi, Masarat Alam and Shabir Shah in connection with a terror funding case involving Lashkar-e-Taiba co-founder Hafiz Saeed.
The trio has been sent to National Investigation Agency (NIA) custody for 10 days.
The three separatists, currently lodged in Tihar jail, faced an investigation conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the NIA.
The probe agency had filed an FIR on May 30, 2017, against the separatists. They were charged with conniving with terrorists of organisations such as Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Asiya, and Shah were already in custody in separate cases while Alam was brought from Jammu and Kashmir on transit remand, advocate MS Khan appearing for the accused told PTI.
While Shah was in judicial custody in a decade-old money laundering case for alleged terror financing, Andrabi was in jail in a case of allegedly waging a war against the country and delivering hate speeches in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the NIA, Shah had received Rs 10 lakh from hawala operator Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watal, a co-accused in the case.
Besides, the money was also sent to the banned outfit Dukhtaraan-e-Milat of which Andrabi was the chief, NIA said.
The NIA arrested them before the court and sought their custodial interrogation for 15-days.
The NIA's submission was opposed by defence advocates who said that the accused were already in custody and the NIA could interrogate them and there was no need of custodial interrogation.
The case in which the accused were arrested Tuesday relates to an alleged conspiracy to wage a war against the government (Section 121 of Indian Penal Code) by carrying out terrorist and secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
The probe agency has chargesheeted 12 persons, including Saeed, and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin.
Other offences for which the accused were chargesheeted include those punishable under sections 120-B of IPC (criminal conspiracy) and various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
Besides Saeed and Salahuddin, the other 10 accused in the final report are - Hurriyat leader Syed Shah Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah, Geelani's personal assistant Bashir Ahmad Bhat, media advisor and strategist of the Hurriyat Conference Aftab Ahmad Shah, secessionist outfit National Front chief Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (R) Farooq Ahmad Dar, media advisor of Hurriyat Conference (Geelani faction) Mohammad Akbar Khanday, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat official Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, hawala operator Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watal and two stone-pelters - Kamran Yusuf and Javed Ahmad Bhat.
The order of NIA custody assumes significance in the wake of the Home Ministry's fresh crackdown on terrorist outfits in the Valley.
Earlier in the day, the Ministry, under the command of Amit Shah, prepared a hit list of top 10 militants.
The list includes names of wanted terrorists such as Hizbul Mujahideen chief Riyaz Naikoo, Lashkar-e-Taiba district commander Wasim Ahmed alias Osama, and Hizbul’s Ashraf Maulvi.
The ministry also said 102 militants have been killed this year in the Valley and around 286 are still believed to be active.
(With inputs from PTI)
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