Kashmir Indepth

Court takes cognizance of NIA charge-sheet against separatist leaders in terror funding case

NEW DELHI: A special court here on Wednesday took cognizance of the charge sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against five persons including Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik in a terror funding case for raising funds through Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

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The NIA in its charge sheet had established the role of Pakistan High Commission in supporting the separatists and creating unrest in the Kashmir Valley through the transfer of funds.
Besides Malik, those who have been named in the charge sheet are founder and president of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) Shabir Ahmed Shah, chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Muslim League Party Masarat Alam, founder and self-styled chief of Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) Syeda Aasiya Andrabi and Zahoor Ahmad Watali.

A few accused today appeared before the Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Sayal through video conferencing due to the security issues.

All of them have been directed to appear before the court on November 7. Their judicial custody has also been extended till November 7. “It has also been found that Yasin Malik has been getting funds from foreign countries through hawala channels for causing unrest and insurgency in Kashmir,” the charge sheet stated.

The NIA alleged that the five accused allegedly carried out “criminal conspiracy and waged war against the government by carrying out terrorist and secessionist activities” in the region.

It was the part of a “well-planned criminal conspiracy hatched with the active support, connivance, and funding from Pakistani agencies and terrorist organizations to achieve their nefarious objective of securing secession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir from India,” the agency revealed.

NIA has used their e-mails as well as videos, TV interviews, public speeches, etc., obtained from open source as evidence. “In one of his speeches Yasin Malik is claiming that he had visited the Lashkar-e-Toiba camp in Muree, Pakistan occupied Kashmir and addressed LeT cadres,” submitted the investigating agency.

The investigation by the agency also revealed that the five accused had hatched a conspiracy to “cripple the administrative machinery and create disaffection towards the administration.” “These separatists are working in a systematic and organised manner on the instructions of their Pakistani handlers and have set up a network of their cadres at the village, block and district level,” stated the charge sheet.

The NIA during its investigation found that the Hurriyat leaders motivated the youth of Kashmir to join the militancy. The agency also alleged that a part of the benefits is drawn out of the import and export of the Kashmiri handloom goods.

The case dates back to May 2017 when the NIA registered an FIR in connection with the case. The charge sheet was filed by the agency eight months later against 12 accused, including chiefs of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen- Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and Syed Salahuddin, respectively.

The agency filed its first supplementary charge sheet in January earlier this year against one person who was the conduit for financial transactions by the separatists.

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