New Delhi: In a fresh crackdown against separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has conducted searches at 12 locations in Srinagar and north Kashmir in connection with terror funding.
Officials in the central probe agency said the searches are being carried out at 12 locations in Srinagar, Baramulla and Handwara districts. They said those being raided on Wednesday have alleged links to persons being investigated in this case.
According to sources, the locations being raided include properties of relatives of Zahoor Watali, a prominent businessman in the Valley and a known Hurriyat supporter. The NIA is also raiding the houses and office of Shafi Rishi, a prominent lawyer in Kashmir and Peerzada Nabi, a prominent businessman.
Official sources said that evidences have been found against Watali, Rishi and Nabi about their involvement in the terror funding.
The current crackdown is a part of NIA investigation against allegations that separatists’ leaders were receiving funds from Pakistan and were using the money to fuel unrest in the Valley.
The NIA had also questioned the sons of pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on 8 August over his alleged links with Hafiz Saeed, leader of the Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the banned terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The NIA had also questioned Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Faheem Ali, who handles separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq’s security, in connection with the case. Ali was the first police officer from the state to be interrogated by the NIA.
It was for the first time since the rise of militancy in the early 1990s that a central probe agency conducted raids in connection with the funding of terrorist and separatist groups.