The NIA raided the premises belonging to family, relatives and aides of noted businessman, Zahoor Watali on Wednesday. They said those being raided on Wednesday have alleged links to persons being investigated in this case.
The NIA also conducted raids on their and other separatist leaders houses after a formal FIR was registered following alleged admission in a sting operation by Nayeem Ahmad Khan, chairman of National Front (NF) that separatists were receiving funds for terror activities in Kashmir from overseas. The daughter of the assistant director is married to a person from Mazhama area of Magam, who works in Dubai and the couple is now at their residence in Kashmir, sources said.
NIA sleuths and officials said the searches conducted simultaneously at Sanatnagar, Parimpora, Tarhama and Mazhama in Baramulla, and Machipora and Bakhihaker in Kupwara have led to documents related to the funding. The premises searched by the NIA included that of Watali's three close associates, two brothers-in-law and Handwara-based in-laws. NIA also raided the house of Ghulam Muhammad Rather of Macchipora area of Handwara. The Cross-LoC trade between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, capital of PaK, was suspended for about 22 days till August 11 following the recovery of 66.5 kilogram of heroin and brown sugar from the truck.
Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Shah is among those arrested.
On July 30, the NIA also searched the office and residence of a lawyer, Devinder Singh Behal, chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Social Peace Forum, a constituent of Tehreek-e-Hurriayat headed by Geelani, in Jammu. The house of Muhammad Shafi Rishi, an advocate reported to be close to Watali, was also raided.
Official sources said that evidences have been found against Watali, Rishi and Nabi about their involvement in the terror funding.
The NIA had alleged that money was being raised to fund separatist and militant activities in J&K.
Prominent separatist Shabir Shah, already arrested by Enforcement Directorate in a separate but similar case, is also likely to be questioned by NIA. Intelligence officials disclosed they suspect his companies were a facade hiding money laundering and terror finance.
Former Pakistan-administered Kashmir Prime Minister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhary had attended the marriage ceremony of Watali's son at the businessman's residence in the posh Srinagar neighbourhood of Baagaat. These leaders are presently detained in New Delhi.