New Delhi: Delhi’s Patiala House Court on Friday ruled that three Kashmiri separatists involved in an alleged terror funding case will be sent to judicial custody till July 12. Notably, Jama’at-ud-Da’wah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed who is the mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attack is involved in the case.
Meanwhile, the three accused involved in the case are Masrat Alam, Shabir Shah and Asiya Andrabi. These separatists were presented before Additional Sessions Judge Anil Antil on the expiry of their 10-day NIA custody. The case was registered on June 4. Citing poor health, Andrabi requested the court to appear before it through video conference for the next hearing. The court asked the defence counsel to approach the concerned court after vacation.
The National Investigation Agency arrested the three during in-chamber proceedings before Special Judge Rakesh Syal and sought 15-day custodial interrogation.
Asiya and Shah were already in custody in separate cases while Alam was brought from Jammu and Kashmir on transit remand, stated advocate MS Khan appearing for the accused.
NIA had filed a charge sheet in 2018 against Saeed, another terror mastermind Syed Salahuddin and 10 Kashmiri separatists in a case of alleged terror funding and secessionist activities in the valley.
It said that offences for which the accused have been chargesheeted include those punishable under sections 120B of IPC (criminal conspiracy) and various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
According to NIA, the case was registered on May 30, 2017, and the first arrests made on July 24 last year.
So far, the agency has arrested several separatist leaders, including Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah.
Altaf Ahmad Shah is the son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani, who advocates Jammu and Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan.
Shahid-ul-Islam is Farooq Dar’s aide and Khandey is the spokesperson for the Geelani-led Hurriyat. Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali was arrested in August 2017.
Asiya Andrabi — chief of the banned Dukhtaran-e-Millat, a separatist organisation — has been accused of waging war and delivering hate speeches in Jammu and Kashmir. She was arrested on July 6 last year.
The NIA had on January 18, 2018, filed a charge sheet against 12 persons, including Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin in connection with the case.
Later the agency filed supplementary charge sheets against the other accused, including Kashmiri businessman Watali and Dubai-based businessman Naval Kishore Kapoor.
(With agency inputs)