NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday attached 17 properties of the financier of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, Zahoor Ahmed Shah Watali, in the Hurriyat terror funding case in which Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) commander Yasin Malik is currently undergoing life imprisonment.
The 17 properties belonging to Watali in the Handwara area of Kupwara in Kashmir have been attached by the NIA on orders by the Special NIA Court, Patiala House, under section 33(1) of the UA(P) Act today.
Besides Malik, 17 others, including Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Amir of Jammat-ud-Dawah and top Commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Mohd Yusuf Shah alias Syed Salahuddin, top Commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, were charge-sheeted in the case, which had been registered suo moto by the NIA on May 30, 2017.
Malik was convicted of all the various charges against him, and sentenced to life imprisonment and a fine, in the case in May 2022.
The case relates to terrorist and secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir carried out by proscribed ISI-backed organisations, such as LeT, JKLF and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). “These outfits were spreading terror and perpetrating violence in the valley by promoting and conducting attacks on civilians and security forces,” said the NIA.
These banned terrorist groups were using the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), which was formed in 1993, as a front for carrying out and supporting secessionist activities in Kashmir.
“Investigations in the case have revealed that the secessionists, arraigned as accused in the case, including the APHC, had entered into a criminal conspiracy and adopted a strategy of instigating the general public to create a surcharged atmosphere in the Kashmir valley and to resort to violence also,” said the NIA.
As per the NIA, Watali had been sending the funds raised by him from various sources to the Hurriyat leaders to promote the secessionism of Jammu and Kashmir from the Union of India.
NIA investigations have revealed that “Watali was a hawala conduit, who was receiving money from Hafiz Saeed, a ‘Specially Designated Global terrorist’ of the United States and a ‘listed global terrorist’ of the UN.”
“Hafiz Saeed had masterminded the 2001 Parliament attack and the 2008 Mumbai attacks. He had received foreign remittances into a Bank account running into crores between 2011 and 2013 from various sources. Besides, he had received foreign remittances in his Proprietorship Firm named M/s ‘Trisson International’, Srinagar and unexplained remittances were also found in his NRE Bank accounts,” said the anti-terror agency.
“Watali had shown the sale of a plot of land measuring 20 kanals, purportedly owned by Watali’s company, M/s ‘Trison Farms and Constructions Pvt. Ltd.’ to one Naval Kishore Kapoor, a co-accused in the case,” added the agency.
However, the NIA investigations found that neither Watali nor his Trison Farms and Constructions Pvt Ltd was the owner of this plot of land in the revenue records. Watali is presently facing trial before the Special NIA Court in New Delhi.