A Delhi Court has issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah in an over a decade-old case of money laundering registered against him for alleged financing of militancy.
Additional sessions judge Sidharth Sharma issued the arrest warrant after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) told the court that Shah was repeatedly evading the summons asking him to depose before it and join the investigation.
According to Special Public Prosecutor NK Matta, the matter relates to August 2005 wherein the Delhi Police’s Special Cell had arrested 35-year old Mohammed Aslam Wani, an alleged hawala dealer, who had claimed that he had passed on Rs 2.25 crore to Shah.
The ED had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Shah and Wani.
Wani was arrested allegedly with Rs 63 lakh, received through ‘hawala’ channels from West Asia, and a large cache of ammunition on 26 August, 2005.
During questioning, he had told the police that Rs 50 lakh was to be delivered to Shah and Rs 10 lakh to Jaish-e-Mohammad area commander in Srinagar, Abu Baqar, and the rest was his commission.
Earlier the Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued a notice to Shabir Shah under the Foreign Exchange and Management Act (FEMA). Shah was asked to appear before the ED by June 6. The notice stated that if Shah fails to appear before ED, the agency will issue arrest warrant against him. Earlier, ED had issued a similar notice to Hurriyat leader and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik in connection with a similar offence.
The seperatists have faced raids by the e National Investigation Agency (NIA) at their residences at least at 14 locations in Srinagar and eight in Haryana.
The NIA, earlier in May, visited Srinagar to probe into the alleged funding by Pakistan for seperatist l activities in Kashmir, and questioned the separatist leaders regarding their involvement in raising, collecting and transferring funds through hawala and other channels for militant funding in Kashmir.
The sleuths from the agency have also questioned separatist leaders Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate and Gazi Javed Baba in the case.
The NIA is probing all aspects of funding of separatist leaders and use of these funds in fuelling the unrest in the Valley.