THE TER­ROR CON­NEC­TION

The NIA homes in on the source of funds of Val­ley sep­a­ratists

India Today - - STATES -

Prob­ing al­le­ga­tions of hawala funds from Pak­istan be­ing used for ter­ror fi­nanc­ing and to pay stone-pelt­ing youth in the Kash­mir Val­ley, Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency (NIA) of­fi­cials have come to be­lieve that top Hur­riyat sep­a­ratists may have in­vested a large chunk of the money in pricey real es­tate.

The on­go­ing crack­down on the Val­ley’s sep­a­ratist lead­ers fol­lowed a sting op­er­a­tion by in­dia to­day TV on May 16, in which func­tionar­ies openly spoke of re­ceiv­ing funds from sources in Pak­istan.

The NIA, which ar­rested seven se­nior Hur­riyat Con­fer­ence func­tionar­ies on July 24, in­clud­ing Syed Ali Shah Gee­lani’s son-in­law Altaf Ahmed Shah aka Altaf Fan­toosh and Mir­waiz Umer Fa­rooq’s clos­est aide Shahid-ul-Is­lam, is now scru­ti­n­is­ing their as­sets. Sources quot­ing NIA in­ves­ti­ga­tors say close to 80 prop­er­ties, in­clud­ing ap­ple or­chards, bun­ga­lows, apart­ments and com­mer­cial es­tab­lish­ments in the Val­ley and Delhi are be­ing looked at minutely. The real es­tate un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, of­fi­cials say, is col­lec­tively worth sev­eral hun­dred crores. Over two dozen res­i­den­tial premises, agri­cul­tural and

ABID BHAT

ISO­LATED Syed Ali Shah Gee­lani in Sri­na­gar

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