NIA Raids Residence Of Businessman Suspected Of Terror Funding

| July 30 , 2017 , 20:26 IST

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday raided the residence of a businessman close to hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in suspicions of routing funds for Pakistani terrorist groups.

An NIA spokesman said that the office and residence of Jammu and Kashmir Social Peace Forum (JKSPF) chairman, Devinder Singh Behal, a constituent of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat headed by Geelani, were searched in Jammu.

The NIA also said that Behal is a member of the legal cell of the separatist amalgam led by Geelani and a "close associate" of the Hurriyat hawk. He also attends the funeral processions of militants.

The spokesperson said, "The NIA is investigating his role as a courier as he is suspected to be involved in routing funds to separatist leaders from Pakistan-based handlers."

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Several incriminating documents, a tablet computer, four mobile phones and some other articles were also seized during the raids.

In a related development, the NIA also issued summons to Naseem, the younger son of Geelani, asking him to appear before it on Wednesday. Nayeem, a surgeon, had returned from Pakistan in 2010 after spending 11 years and is considered Geelani's heir apparent.

Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah is presently in NIA remand in connection with allegations of terror funding in the Kashmir Valley. Geelani's elder son, Nayeem, who was asked to present himself at the agency's headquarters in New Delhi tomorrow, has been admitted to a hospital in Srinagar after he complained of chest pain.

Six other separatist leaders, namely Ayaz Akbar, spokesman for Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Shahid-ul-Islam, spokesman for the moderate Hurriyat Conference, Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Nayeem Khan (of the Hurriyat's Geelani faction), Peer Saifullah and Farooq Ahmed Dar are also on remand with the NIA for custodial interrogation in this case.

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The NIA had registered the case on May 30, accusing separatist and secessionist leaders of being in cahoots with terrorist groups.

The case was registered over raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including through hawala channels, for funding separatist and terrorist activities in the state and for causing disruption in the Valley by pelting security forces with stones, burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India.