THE TERROR CONNECTION
The NIA homes in on the source of funds of Valley separatists
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
ISOLATED Syed Ali Shah Geelani in Srinagar